For whatever reason, lawmakers in the corruption-plagued city of Anaheim are having a hard time making ends meet in their upcoming budget, so they’re hoping to ask voters in the tourist-dependent community to go ahead and jack up prices at Disneyland and the Honda Center to make up for the mysterious funding shortfall.
In order to pay for “additional staff and new city amenities” while California enjoys a record $97 billion budget surplus, the Anaheim City Council will decide Tuesday whether to put a proposal on the November 2022 ballot that would charge a two percent tax on tickets for the popular tourist destinations, the Los Angeles Times reports.
If the measure makes the Nov. 8 ballot and a majority of voters approve it, the gate tax could generate $55 million to $82 million a year to be deposited in the city general fund account.
The proposal was made last month by City Councilman Jose Moreno, who is serving his last year on the council, and has been a vocal critic of tax breaks for Disneyland.
“Given how much we have struggled… just to help our seniors, we really need revenues,” he told the Times when proposing the gate tax last month. “For a city of our size, we need more revenue.”
The legislation would also hit visitors to Angel Stadium with a tax, but under the city’s lease agreement with the team, Anaheim would have to credit the Angels against that agreement for any new rule that “levies or assesses any ticket, admission, parking or other tax or fee based upon revenues derived from operations at the Baseball Stadium or Parking Area, or Team revenues.”
Meaning that, under the current contract, Anaheim’s deal with the Angels won’t bring the city anymore money even with a new ticket tax.
Mayor Pro Tem Trevor O’Neil has already said to hell to any idea that would continue to raise taxes on tourists.
“Increasing the already high tax burden on visitors runs the risk of negatively impacting tourism and the resulting economic impact for our city,” he stated on Monday. “And, this proposal would not only apply to visitors but to our own residents as well who enjoy the many entertainment options in our city.”
Daily tickets to Disneyland range from $104 to $164, so a two percent ticket tax adds $2.08 to $3.28 per ticket. With U.S. inflation at its highest rate since 1981, that’s not insignificant to vacationing families.
Meanwhile, even without the new tax, the city is projected to collect $167 million in hotel occupancy taxes in the current fiscal year, beating out the record high of $163 million in 2018-19, according to the Times. Plus, ten of the city’s largest hotels—three of them Disneyland Resorts—generated about half of all the city’s hotel occupancy revenues.
Anaheim is also expected to collect $97 million in sales tax revenues in the current fiscal year, surpassing the previous record high of $85 million in 2018-19, city budget records show, according to the Times.
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