Paired opposite Mayor Tait’s op-ed in Sunday’s OC Register was this column by Disneyland Resort President Michael Colglazier, making the case for the Anaheim City Council to approve the proposed development agreement with Disney and continue the gate tax ban for 30 years:
Sixty years ago, Walt Disney chose Anaheim as the home for his magic kingdom, with the hope that “Disneyland would never be completed … as long as there is imagination left in the world.” And for six decades, thanks in large part to the commitment of Anaheim city leaders to keep taxes low and ensure a welcoming business environment, Walt’s dream has become a reality.
We are proud to count so many residents of Anaheim and Orange County as our guests over the years, and we are proud to share in the lifelong memories they have created at Disneyland. We are also proud to be a powerful economic and job-creating engine for Anaheim and Orange County. The Disneyland Resort generates $5.7 billion annually, contributes $370 million in direct state and local taxes and is the largest contributor to Anaheim’s general fund. With 28,000 cast members, Disneyland has doubled its employment in the past 20 years, and businesses supporting the Anaheim resort have created tens of thousands of additional jobs in Southern California.
This Tuesday, on the eve of Disneyland’s diamond anniversary, the Anaheim City Council has the opportunity to continue this path of growth and success as it votes whether to reaffirm an Entertainment Tax Policy that has been in place for 20 years: No direct, local tax on entertainment admissions.
The decision can be boiled down to a simple question: Should the existing successful policy that has resulted in two decades of financial growth for the entire city of Anaheim be continued? We are confident the right answer is yes.
With the current policy set to expire in 2016, Disney has asked Anaheim to extend the assurance that Disneyland Resort guests will not be subject to a local entertainment tax for 30 years on the condition that Disney first commits to a $1 billion expansion of the resort, with the ability to extend an additional 15 years based on incremental investment.
A portion of that $1 billion investment could create a new 5,000-plus space parking structure that would balance traffic flow and relieve congestion on Ball Road, Disneyland Drive, Harbor Boulevard and Katella Avenue.
You an read the entire column here.