Disneyland hotel

‘Amid growing animosity between Anaheim and Walt Disney Co., the president of the media giant’s Disneyland Resort asked the city to end all tax incentive deals in hopes of promoting “cooperation and goodwill.”

‘The move marks an end to the way Disney has long done business in the home town of its original theme park, where a complex relationship has been dotted with subsidies, incentives, rebates and protections from future taxes that public policy experts estimated would be worth more than $1 billion. Disney, Anaheim’s largest employer and taxpayer, has disputed that estimate.’

You may wonder why — these following sentences in this L.A. Times article make the reason clear:

‘By eliminating certain tax agreements, Disney may be ensuring that it isn’t affected by a Nov. 6 ballot measure that, if passed, would require the resort to pay all its workers a living wage as it would require large hospitality businesses that accept a city tax subsidy to do so.

‘The ballot measure calls for an immediate salary increase to a minimum of $15 an hour, with a $1 hourly increase each Jan. 1 until 2022. If the measure applies to Disneyland Resort, it would mean the pay raise would apply to all 30,000 resort employees who earn less than $15 an hour [about $NZ 22 an hour at the present exchange rate].’

You may wonder why what must be the biggest visitor attraction in California needs tax breaks in the first place.

You may also wonder why a corporation that pays its bosses massive salaries a year can’t afford to pay a living wage to its front line workers.  Oh wait, there is another organisation we all know very close to home that does that, isn’t there?

Another connection with the local scene is the Kapiti Coast District Council’s notions about “economic development” which featured in the Long Term Plan document.  It has already given Air Chathams a $50,000 subsidy for this year and the next two; but that amount is tiny compared with the multiple millions it has slated in the LTP to be dished out every year.

Are there obvious cons in top local bureaucrats and councilors deciding what enterprises should be given tax breaks and/or subsidies at everyone else’s expense?

Would the councilors put any economic justice conditions on subsidies if they don’t care about injustice in their own organisation?

Should there not be a level playing [operating] field from government when it comes to businesses of all kinds?

Will businesses which don’t receive such privileges from the council feel rightly peeved about it?  Would they justifiably be motivated to close up their Kapiti operation and go elsewhere?

We leave the answers to you, dear readers.