ANAHEIM, Calif. (CNS) – Officials in Anaheim said on Wednesday that an Orange County Superior Court judge was right when he dismissed a lawsuit to force Disney to comply with an order on the living wage approved by voters.
Orange County Superior Court Judge William Claster on Monday issued a ruling granting Disney dismissal in a class action lawsuit claiming the company was not complying with Measure L, which was approved by voters he three years ago.
Measure L requires any hotel business with 25 or more employees that receives a city subsidy to pay $ 15 per hour.
The city issued this statement about the decision:
“While we never want to see a dispute like this go to court, we appreciate the judge’s determination. It validates what we already knew and said before – the city of Anaheim does not offer any discounts or discounts. grant to Disney.
The Mickey & Friends parking structure and related financing was part of a $ 1.9 billion expansion of The Anaheim Resort from 1997 to 2001.
“The expansion was a public-private partnership reflecting mutual interest in the economy of visitors to Anaheim. It has been a great return on investment for our city, our residents and our neighborhoods.
“Since the expansion of the 1990s, Anaheim hotel revenues have more than tripled to a pre-pandemic high of $ 163 million in 2019. This money has gone to public safety, community centers, libraries , parks and compliance with city obligations.
“The pandemic has shown how important a strong visitor economy is to our city. With the parks and convention center closed for more than a year, hotel revenues have fallen 85% over two years to about $ 25 million. This presented a real challenge for our city. and the residents we serve.
Claster ruled that while Disney benefited from the deal with the city, it technically did not receive a tax refund.
The question of whether the Disney defendants have received a ‘public grant’ in the general sense is a different question from whether they have received or are entitled to receive a grant from the city as defined, that is that is, a tax rebate (in the form of a refund, abatement, exemption, etc.), ”Claster said.
Claster said the plaintiffs had shown how the benefits were used to pay off the bond debt, but “they identify no evidence to suggest that the finance deal requires the Disney defendants to pay less tax (whether through repayment after payment, exemption from prepayment, etc.) than they should if no funding arrangement was in place. “
In other words, the funding deal with the city helped Disney pay all of its “debt service payments, not taxes,” Claster said.
“If the Disney defendants had raised construction funds privately, they would have had to make both tax payments and debt service payments,” Claster said. “The bond issue here has been structured so that they receive part of the proceeds from the bond issue, but only have to pay taxes in return. Their taxes go. into the city’s general fund, and the money from the general fund ultimately goes to debt (after a series of transactions). This is a significant advantage for the Disney defendants, but, again, there is no evidence that the Funding Agreement somehow lessens their tax liability, so the public benefit conferred on Disney Defendants by the Funding Agreement does not create a municipal grant.