What was the Gate Tax?


Jessica Ruiz

Anaheim City Hall

Evelyn Alonso, Writer

On July 19th, city council member Dr. Jose Moreno had his Gate Tax proposal denied. The Gate Tax proposal was a proposition referendum that would have been in the November ballot to implement a 2% tax on big venues. The request would be to allow people to vote, not to ask for a direct approval of any proposition being passed. The ordinance with the full description of the resolution can be found here. 

This proposition would have been implemented specifically on venues with a capacity of at least 15,000 people which provide entertainment, sporting, amusement or recreational activity, for which an admission charge is made. Disney Resort, Honda Center, and the Angels Stadium are the three main venues that would be taxed. 

According to Dr. Moreno, “Many cities like Anaheim have their Gate Tax at 5%”, Anaheim does not have a Gate Tax, but he proposed a 2% tax. With this tax, venues like Disney would only need to increase their ticket prices about $2.50. With this small increase, the city would receive roughly $50-80 million annually. 

Dr. Jose Moreno
Dr. Jose Moreno

This funding would be used to directly support the city’s communities. When asked about what kind of projects could be funded with this money, Moreno already had a few ideas in mind. More after school programs, adding a senior center to the city, a new pool, and other public services are just a few of the projects in mind.

There was a full consensus against the tax on July 19th. Many council members were against the proposition from the start, because of various arguments against it. Raising taxes in general was something they were skeptical about because of the pandemic. Dr. Moreno suggested making them tax-exempt from Anaheim families, but it was still shot down. 

Disney did raise its own ticket prices regardless, and according to the OC Register, “Since 2000, the price of admission to Disneyland has more than tripled from $43 to $149, the new single-day ticket price on the park’s busiest “peak” days.” 

"The park's icon, Sleeping Beauty Castle, in 2019"- Wikipedia
“The park’s icon, Sleeping Beauty Castle, in 2019”- Wikipedia (Wikipedia Images)

As a response to these rising prices, Dr. Moreno explained, “They are going to keep raising those ticket prices…well then, let the people of Anaheim vote to say ‘well can we at least get some of that increase?’, to help our kids, our streets, and our parks…”



According to Dr. Moreno, it can still appear on 2024 ballots, “I would encourage people here… to contact Natalie Rubalcava…to support putting a Gate tax on the ballots in 2024, let the people vote. I would encourage other people to contact their council members as well.” 

He also explained an alternative way to bring back the proposal, “If you get I think 10% of voters to sign a petition, then it would go on the ballot in 2024 for the people to vote…that would be direct democracy.” He concluded by saying, “When young people, their families, their neighborhoods go to city council, or call city council, it can bring a lot of attention and support”.