On Sunday, the OC Register published an op-ed by Mayor Tom Tait on why he is going to vote against the proposed development agreement with Disney in which the city will continue the existing gate tax moratorium for another 30 years as part of Disney’s investing $1 billion in expanding its parks:
Don’t Tie The Hands of Anaheim’s Future Generations
The Anaheim City Council on Tuesday will consider a proposal that would require the city to refund any future gate tax levied on Disneyland back to the company in exchange for Disney’s promise of a $1.5 billion investment in its parks. I will be voting no on this proposal.
Some will have you believe that a “no” vote is a vote against Disney or a vote in favor of higher taxes. In fact, as a vocal advocate of small government and freedom, if the issue were that simple, I would be the first in line to support the company’s proposal. But it is not.
There are several key reasons why this proposal is not in the best interest of the taxpayers.
First, Disney is asking the city to enter into a contract that would refund ticket tax levies until 2060. This means that kids entering kindergarten this fall would be 50 years old before the city and taxpayers would be able to consider any potential tax.
It is not that I think we need this tax today. However, it is a mistake to tie the hands of future voters and taxpayers. We have no crystal ball. What we do know is that the city has several major financial pressures looming, including $560 million in unfunded pension liabilities and $160 million in unfunded medical retirement obligations. The council majority, against my wishes, voted to borrow $200 million to expand the Convention Center. We cannot anticipate the needs of our city in 10, 20 or 30 years. And who are we to decide what people who aren’t even born yet will want to do with their votes and taxpayer money?
You can read the entire op-ed here.