Los Angeles Times
Anaheim plan to tax Disneyland tickets is rejected
A proposal to ask voters to impose a 2% gate tax on Disneyland and the Honda Center failed Tuesday to get enough votes from the Anaheim City Council to be put on the November ballot.
After more than an hour of public debate, the proposed gate tax failed, with none of the five other council members supporting the measure proposed by Councilman Jose Moreno.
Most of the more than two dozen residents who spoke voiced support for the gate tax, saying the extra revenue is needed for city services. The debate became so boisterous that Mayor Pro Tem Trevor O’Neil had to call a fiveminute recess to quell the shouts from supporters of the gate tax.
Had the measure been put on the ballot and approved by a majority of voters, the gate tax would have generated $55 million to $82 million a year to be deposited in the city general fund account, according to a city report.
The proposal was pushed by Moreno, who said he hoped the gate tax money would bolster a city budget that he said has been stretched thin. He suggested Tuesday night that the funds could be used to pay for a city pool, more lighting for parks and code enforcement programs and senior services.
Moreno argued that Disneyland and the Anaheim Ducks raise their ticket prices regularly, but the city doesn’t benefit from those increases.
“Disney is going to raise their prices. We are just saying, ‘Shouldn’t the voters decide on raising it a bit for the city?’ ” he said.
O’Neil said he worried the gate tax could discourage Anaheim tourists who already pay a 15% hotel occupancy tax, one of the highest in the state.
“This can increase the already high tax burden and negatively impact tourism for our city,” O’Neil said.
A spokesperson for Disneyland Resort declined to comment on the proposal. A representative for the Honda Center, home of the Anaheim Ducks, did not return calls seeking comment.
A daily ticket to Disneyland costs $104 to $164. A 2% gate tax would have added $2.08 to $3.28 per ticket.