San Francisco considers 'congestion tax' to drivers that targets higher wage earners

The county officials are still in the research phase and said it would be at least five years before the tax is implemented.

Updated: July 27, 2021 - 1:37pm

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San Francisco is again considering a "congestion tax" that targets workers who commuter to specific parts of the city and make over $100,000 annually.

The proposed tax is $6.50 for each time a motorist enters one of the designated parts – including the city's financial district. 

Officials with the San Francisco County Transportation Authority want the tax to eliminate or at least reduce traffic that is expected to worsen after the pandemic and to help clean the air by cutting back on carbon-fuel emissions.

The authority's website states the idea is still in the research phase and that it could take five years before it goes into effect. It would need the approval of the San Francisco's Board of Supervisors and passage by the California legislature.

The idea of the tax has been around for over a decade. The last time San Francisco considered the tax was in 2010, but the discussion was tabled. 

Cities such as Stockholm and London already have congestion taxes, and New York City recently announced they will start their tax in 2023. Other West Coast cities such as Portland and Los Angeles are also looking at including the tax.