by Joseph Coletti
Senior Fellow, Fiscal Studies, John Locke Foundation
Anaheim’s libertarian-leaning Mayor Tom Tait and unions supporting a $15 minimum wage seem to have unintentionally found a way to reduce targeted tax incentives. Disney asked the city council to end a “45-year moratorium on a gate tax and a $267 million economic assistance package for a new luxury hotel in the Downtown Disney District,” according to Governing.com, in response to a ballot initiative this November.
Unions representing Disneyland workers championed the ballot initiative, which, if it passes, will raise the minimum wage for businesses that accept economic assistance from the city to $15-an-hour and then increase it by another dollar per year until 2022, after which workers would receive a yearly cost-of-living adjustment.
Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First does not think this will set a precedent for others to refuse government money:
there has been a reduction in the number of economic assistance packages approved by state and local governments over the past 10 years. However, it’s not because corporations are asking for less, or that states and localities are taking a harder line. It’s because there are fewer deals to be had overall.
What is on the rise is extremely expensive “mega-deals,” such as Wisconsin’s $4.7 billion assistance package to Foxconn or the current competition for Amazon’s second headquarters.