The Anaheim City Council held a meeting to hear on sides and vote on Disney investing $1 billion into the Disneyland Resort. Where this is a big vote it means that an expiring ban on having a “gate tax” on Disneyland tickets would be extended another 30 years. The start of this agreement was in 1996 and was to help with the expansion of the Disneyland Resort to what it is today. A vote no for the agreement would have meant that a tax would be coming mid way in 2016. A vote yes would be that an agreement is set that Disneyland Resort would expand and a 30 year extension would be in place for the lift on ticket tax.
The council chambers were at capacity and an overflow was established for the hearing. The meeting lasted over 8 hours.
Those that desired the tax pointed out how much the city could benefit from the amount gained from the ticket tax. One position noted that when the economy went downhill in recent years, the city could have not been in some tough times with having more revenue. Others have pointed out where the money could be invested, such as more youth programs and improvements around the city.
Those in support of Disney’s billion dollar proposal have noted that “Disney put Anaheim on the map” and that they have actually helped improve the city with the expansions in the past. There was much support with what Disney has done for the community. Business owners came and pointed out that their businesses have had great success because of visitors making vacations to the Resort. Others have pointed out how much Disney is already involved in the community, helping programs and improving roads because of the previous agreement. Another argument that kept coming up is that there will be even more jobs opening from the expansion. Where this is an argument is because Disneyland is one of the biggest employers of the city and county.
After much debate from citizens and former residents of Anaheim, the council was able to bring up concerns and support for the agreement. It was discussed that the city did do a study to find out the economic impact of having Disney invest in the Resort. It was pointed out that Disney could put the billion towards another Resort elsewhere in the world. Disneyland President Michael Colgazier spoke in separate times during the night, but one thing mentioned is that studies done have shown that Disneyland’s previous expansion have contributed to the general fund of Anaheim, and another billion dollar investment would contribute a lot again.
In the end, Lucille Kring made a long statement about her support over the amendment. Mayor Tom Tait was not in support of the amendment, neither was James Vanderbilt. Kris Murray was supportive of the investment. Jordan Brandman, in a roundabout way, stated his support of the amendment. At 1:04 am the amendment was passed with a 3-2 vote for 30 years of no entertainment tax on Disneyland tickets and for Disney to invest $1 billion into the Resort.
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