Disney Calls on Anaheim Officials to End Tax Incentive Agreements, Would Potentially Make Them Exempt From $18 Minimum Wage Initiative

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Right on the heels of announcing they are halting work on their new luxury hotel, Disney has called on Anaheim to end all tax break agreements. Yesterday, Disneyland President Josh D’Amaro sent a letter to city leaders to end tax incentive agreements with Disney. His reasoning for the call to action was that the incentives have become “a flashpoint for controversy and dissension in our community.”

In November, voters will decide whether to approve a resolution for an $18 an hour minimum wage for hotel entertainment businesses that receive tax incentives from the city. Anaheim Officials have yet to do a deep analysis of what this means, but did say:

“It could very well be that they (Disney) are not subject to those provisions of the initiative”

While Disneyland would potentially not be held to the proposed $18 an hour wage, Disneyland has made agreements to increase their minimum wage to at least $15 an hour for a majority of their workers. Union workers will start receiving that new minimum wage by January, while an agreement with other non-union employees would take the minimum wage up to $15.75.

Disney and Anaheim had previously agreed in 2015 to halt gate taxes for 30 years if Disney invested $1 billion in the resort. Also on the chopping block is the $267 million tax break for construction of the new luxury hotel.

Disney has reiterated that the new luxury hotel to be built on the western end of Downtown Disney is on hold indefinitely.

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait, who is against tax subsidies for businesses, praised Disney’s decision calling it a “good and bold move”. The decision, which is seen as Disney “hitting the reset button on how they look at Anaheim”, could be decided on by the city council as soon as next week.

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