Entertainment Giant Disney Pressures City To Extend Tax Free Status

While the Anaheim City Council charges many small entertainment providers an admission tax, the owners of the city’s “happiest place on Earth”, which provides the area with 28,000 jobs, have asked for a 30 year extension on their tax exemptions.

Walt Disney Co’s , the owner operators of Disney World, have asked for the continued waiver of admission tax as a trade for going ahead with a massive $1 billion plus makeover of the resort.

The five strong Council will vote on the request tonight.

Disney World’s present exemption granted in 1996 is due to lapse in June of 2016.

Disney claims the exemption is warranted because of the huge economic benefit the City gets from the resort. It is not only the City’s but also Orange County’s largest employer with 28,000 local jobs.

A Disney commissioned study predicts the expansion project would support on a yearly average 2,600 local jobs a year, and lead to the creation of 2,100 permanent jobs.

Michael Colglazier, Disneyland Resort President said “Anaheim has been an economic success story thanks to its policies and initiatives that allow businesses to invest and thrive.”

However Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait, who supported Disney’s original tax exemption, has opposed renewing it, saying the City faces an estimated $500 million in unfunded pension obligations.

“Chaining the hands of future residents on their ability to impose taxes will jeopardize the city’s financial health.” he said .

Of the remaining four council members two are know to an extension, while two are undecided.

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