ANAHEIM : Police Union to Urge Tax on Ticket Sales
The Anaheim police union says it will take on Disneyland and the city’s sports teams and push for the adoption of an admission tax, which would be used to pay for police raises and to hire more officers.
Bruce Bottolfson, president of the Anaheim Police Assn., said Wednesday that if the City Council refuses to impose a tax on entertainment tickets over $10 or put the proposal on the 1994 city ballot, the union will launch a petition drive to put it to a vote.
“The people who attend Disneyland or an Angel, Ram or Mighty Duck game use city services, but we’re not getting any money from them,” Bottolfson said, citing police and fire protection as two examples. “They should have to pay for that.”
Bottolfson is proposing that a $1 levy be imposed on tickets costing $20 or more and a 50-cent levy be imposed on tickets costing between $10 and $20. Cheaper tickets would be exempt. Although it is impossible to say how much revenue the tax would produce because Disneyland does not disclose attendance figures, Bottolfson estimates it would raise more than $12 million annually.
To get on the ballot, the tax measure would require either a majority vote of the council or a petition drive that would have to net 12,000 signatures of city voters. Once on the ballot, two-thirds of the electorate would have to approve it to make it law, the city clerk’s office said.
A 1992 Times Orange County poll showed that 54% of Anaheim residents favored imposing an admission tax, while 42% were opposed.
Disney, which successfully fought attempts to impose an admission tax in 1966 and 1975, said it continues to oppose admission taxes. Park officials say Disneyland is the city’s largest generator of taxes, paying property taxes on its lot and bringing in thousands of visitors daily who pay sales and hotel taxes.
Disneyland President Jack Lindquist and other top executives were unavailable for comment Wednesday. But last week, as rumors swirled that the police association would make this proposal, Lindquist said: “We have always been opposed to admission taxes, and we still are. Our position has never changed.”
Councilman Irv Pickler said he would prefer raising the hotel tax or reimposing the recently expired utility tax.
Councilman Fred Hunter supports the admission tax. Frank Feldhaus said he would support putting the police association’s proposal on the ballot.
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