SANTA ANA, Calif. — Anaheim council members said with state and local taxes – including those charged to tourists – already high, they don’t think it’s the time to ask voters for a tax that would raise the cost of tickets to Disneyland or other large events.
Councilman Jose Moreno had pitched a ballot measure that would add a 2% surcharge onto tickets to privately managed events and venues for 15,000 or more people, but couldn’t get support from the rest of the council to put the question before voters in November, and the proposal died.
It would mainly have affected Disney’s two Anaheim theme parks, and also would have covered the Honda Center. A tax could be charged on tickets to Angel Stadium events, but the terms of the current lease say the proceeds of any such tax must be credited back to Angels Baseball.
Had voters approved the 2% “gate tax,” it could have raised $55 million to $80 million a year for city programs and services, according to a city report.
The suggested tax would have been added to the price of admission — Moreno estimated the buyer of a basic Disneyland ticket would pay about $2.40.
Moreno noted that the Angels, Ducks and Disneyland have all raised ticket prices in recent years, including during the last recession – and that isn’t likely to stop, with or without a city tax added on. Information he presented Tuesday showed the cost of getting into Disneyland has nearly doubled since 2007.
“So when we think and fret about, ‘Well, you can’t raise prices because that’s going to hurt the local family,’ the reality is, colleagues, that Disneyland, the Ducks, the Angels are raising prices regardless,” Moreno said.
Other council members complained about already high taxes and suggested Moreno’s idea hadn’t been fully vetted. Mayor Pro Tem Trevor O’Neil said visitors already pay a 15% tax to the city on hotel stays and another 2% to support the resort district.