Many Anaheim residents have pitched signs in their yards reading, “This is Our City Not Disney’s.” In the summer of 2015, the Anaheim City Council voted three-to-two to approve Disneyland’s request to extend their no-entertainment tax deal on their parks and hotel. This will allow the company to be free from paying an entertainment tax for the next 30 years. In July of this year, Disney was granted another tax break for $267 million to build a four-star luxury hotel. This tax break will last for the next 20 years.
Jason Young, a 38 year-old wedding video producer who has had a Disneyland pass almost his entire life has dedicated his time and money to fighting back against the tax breaks. Young created a neighborhood coalition with three friends and started a Facebook page titled, “Stop Disney.”
“I’m just sick and tired of all the giveaways to wealthy developers,” Young, who is a resident of Anaheim, said.
According to the Southern California Public Radio website, as part of the agreement for the extended tax break, Disney will invest $1 billion to extend both Disneyland and California Adventure and build a 5,000-space parking lot and improve the surrounding streets to ease the flow of traffic. The work is estimated to be completed in 2025.
Young has spent thousands of dollars creating videos and buying print ads to spread of the wrong doings in the city of Anaheim.
“I just don’t think it’s fair that they are taking taxpayers’ money and they have rigged the system in their favor,” Young said.
According to the Voice of OC website, the Walt Disney company has spent nearly $1 million on this year’s election supporting Jordan Brandmen, Lucille Kring, Steven Faessel, and Steve Lodge, who were running for city council. Young said that his Facebook page is not just toward Disney, but also the four other hotels that will be getting a tax subsidy.
“I’ve lived here my entire life and they should have to pay taxes too,” Franklin Rennie, 22, sign language interpreting major, and a current resident of Anaheim said. “Fuck Disney!”
This will be the largest tax subsidy given in the city of Anaheim. Mayor Tom Tait, of Anaheim, called this request for a tax break “insane,” according to the Voice of OC. Disney said that this would create an economic boom for the city. In the resort’s subsidy application, it states that the hotel will create 1,500 construction jobs and another 1,150 full-time jobs once they are open.
Disney’s new 700-room luxury hotel will have expected room rates of $450 per night. The city estimates over the next 20 years to be writing checks to Disney totaling $267 million. With two other hotels approved for a tax break, the total for all three projects is estimated to $550 million. Young said that this is money that should be going to the city; the police and fire department. Even though the approval has been granted to Disney and the other hotels, Young said that he will continue to write on his Facebook page and create articles with hopes that people will know what’s going on and make a smarter choice for their city government.