Disneyland officials say they are considering a roughly $1 billion expansion if the Anaheim City Council votes to keep an entertainment tax policy in effect that began in 1996 and is slated to end in June, 2016. The policy allows Disney to sell park admission tickets without being taxed.
If approved, a new entertainment tax policy would run for 30 years with the possibility of a 15-year extension based on additional, substantial investment by Disney beyond $1 billion, says a City news release. The policy would allow for reimbursement to Disney in the event an entertainment tax is ever put in place. There are no proposals for an entertainment tax by Anaheim, and any proposed tax would be subject to voter approval.
With the current entertainment tax policy in effect, Disney undertook major developments such as the opening of Disney California Adventure Park, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and the Downtown Disney District in 2001 and the addition of Cars Land to California Adventure in 2012.
“Anaheim prides itself on being a city where businesses have the confidence to invest and expand,” said Paul Emery, interim city manager, in a recent press release. He says the resolution will serve as a framework as Disney evaluates a significant investments.
These investment plans include a new 5,000-space parking structure and attractions that would increase attendance and longer stays at the Anaheim Resort. If Disney gets its new tax-break extension, it will build its new attractions within the existing footprint of the Disneyland Resort. The company is also considering significant infrastructure improvements to two of the busiest streets that run into the park.
“This proposed entertainment tax policy is a pragmatic way to facilitate investment and future revenue for City services,” said Emery in the news release.
Disney has not released information on exactly what new rides or "themed lands" it might build in Anaheim, but since acquiring the "Star Wars" franchise, it is a fair bet that any plans will include some form of an intergalactic, movie-based attraction. The company says construction could start in late 2017 and complete in December 2024, the deadline if the proposed agreemenat goes through.
A potential $1 billion investment could result in nearly $600 million in additional hotel, sales and property tax revenue to Anaheim over the next 40 years, according to a recent study performed by audit, tax and advisory firm, KPMG, that was independently reviewed for the City by Beacon Economics.
The city says a possible $1 billion expansion could create an additional 2,600 jobs in and around the Anaheim Resident with city residents filling many of those. During a potential development phase, approximately 3,700 construction-related jobs could be created.