Local worker unions are clashing over a ballot initiative in Anaheim that would raise wages to $18 an hour for employees of companies that receive city subsidies, a measure aimed at three luxury hotel projects that received over $500 million in tax rebates in 2016.
In front of a packed house of both subsidy supporters and detractors, council members voted Tuesday to give Disneyland and another four-diamond hotel developer bed-tax rebates that could total more than $500 million for three hotel projects.
City Manager Paul Emery confirmed the city could award room-tax subsidies for three or four upcoming luxury hotel projects. With this news, deep divisions among council members resurfaced at Tuesday’s meeting.
A city-paid consultant says the policy to steer 70 percent of a four-diamond hotel’s room-tax subsidy back to the developer will raise surrounding hotel rates, thereby increasing tax revenue. Others say that reasoning is flawed.
Thanks to a boost in revenue, the 2015-16 budget includes increased spending on police and other services. While most council members are expressing their pleasure with the budget, Mayor Tom Tait is warning of structural weaknesses.