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Tax on Disneyland tickets falls short in Anaheim council vote

A proposal to require voters to levy a 2% border tax on Disneyland and Honda Center on Tuesday failed to garner enough votes from Anaheim City Council to win a seat on the November ballot. 11.

After more than an hour of public debate, the border tax proposal fell through, with none of the other five council members supporting the measure proposed by Councilmember Jose Moreno. The council normally has seven members, but Mayor Harry Sidhu resigned in May after being accused of bribery, fraud, obstruction of justice and witness tampering.

Most of the more than two dozen residents voiced support for the border tax, saying the extra revenue was needed for city services. The debate became so heated that Pro Tem Mayor Trevor O’Neil called for a five-minute break to quell screams from border tax advocates.

If the measure is put to a vote and approved by a majority of voters, the border tax would generate between $55 million and $82 million annually deposited into the city’s general fund account, according to a city report. city.

The proposal was promoted by Moreno, who said he hoped the border tax money would support a city budget that he said was stretched. He suggested Tuesday night that the money could be used to pay for a city pool, add lighting to parks and support code execution programs and high-level services.

Moreno argued that Disneyland and Anaheim Ducks regularly raise ticket prices, but the city doesn’t benefit from those increases. Moreno, who is serving his final year on the board, has been a vocal critic of the tax breaks for Disneyland.

“Disney will raise their prices. We just said, ‘The voters shouldn’t decide to raise a little bit for the city,’ he said.

O’Neil said he worries the border tax could discourage Anaheim tourists, who already pay a 15% hotel use tax, one of the highest in the state.

“This could increase the already high tax burden and negatively impact tourism for our city,” O’Neil said.

Councilman Avelino Valencia said a border tax could be levied on non-profit organizations that organize fundraising events at major city venues. Moreno said he was open to amending the measure to exempt charities from taxes.

A spokesperson for Disneyland Resort declined to comment on the proposal. A representative for Honda Center, home of the Anaheim Ducks, did not respond to calls seeking comment.

Daily fares to Disneyland range from $104 to $164, depending on the day of the week. A 2% border tax will add $2.08 to $3.28 per ticket.

Moreno has pushed for a border tax to generate more revenue, but the city’s main sources of revenue – sales and accommodation taxes levied on hotel guests – have rebounded significantly since the pandemic hit. opened in 2020 and forced the closure of Disneyland Resort for more than a year and pushed hotel occupancy to record lows.

The city is expected to collect $167 million in hotel use taxes in the current fiscal year, surpassing the previous record high of $163 million for 2018-19, according to budget filings. city ​​book. Ten of the city’s largest hotels, including three at Disneyland Resort, generate about 50% of the city’s total hotel room revenue.

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2022-07-19/disneyland-gate-tax-tickets-anaheim Tax on Disneyland tickets falls short in Anaheim council vote

Edmund DeMarche

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