by Ray Keating
October 26, 2018

Let’s just say that things have gotten uncomfortable in recent months between the Walt Disney Company and the City of Anaheim in California. (See Disney Biz Journal reports, for example, hereand here.) And now, on November 6, city residents will vote for the mayor and four council seats.

The Orange County Registerput the following question to each candidate for a voter guide: “How can the relationship between Anaheim and its largest employer, Disney, be improved, and should any kind of tax incentives to encourage development be an option?”

All of the answers will not be re-produced here. Instead, readers can go to each section to see what all of the candidates had to say on this – the candidates for mayor, for council district 2, for council district 3, and for council district 6.

Not knowing anything about each candidate, I’m simply highlighting responses that made this economist take notice.

Among the Candidates for Mayor

  • “H. Fuji Shioura: I am a supporter of tax incentives to encourage entrepreneurs to invest their money, time and projects in Anaheim that will, in turn, drive job creation, grow tax revenue for our city, and build up our infrastructure to further encourage future investment and prosperity from additional entrepreneurs. Therefore, I will foster a friendly, successful, and mutually beneficial business environment for Disney and other businesses to continue to invest, prosper and hire more people in Anaheim.”
  • “Harry Sidhu: I applaud the recent ‘reset’ decision reached by both Disney and Anaheim. Disney and the city both agreed to end the tax incentive program for Disney’s proposed hotel. Ending this program has removed one of the major sources, if not the biggest source, of contention between the city and Disney. We need to be able to work together as partners in order to provide the benefits that all Anaheim neighborhoods and families deserve.”

Among the Candidates in District 2

  • “James Vanderbilt: Disney is the most important job creator in Anaheim, and I’ve worked closely with them to support their expansion plans. However, Disney is also a very profitable multi-billion dollar company that now agrees it doesn’t want hotel subsidies. I believe Disney’s recent decision to withdraw their proposal is good news for taxpayers. As a councilman, I want to assure Disneyland officials that I would not support a ‘gate tax’ during my term in office.”

Among the Candidates for District 6

  • “Patty Gaby: The Disney Corporation does not need our tax dollars for their projects. As an Anaheim city commissioner, I have always believed that our general fund money should be spent on vital city services and not on luxury hotels. Recently, Disney has taken a large step toward improving its relationship with Anaheim. Disneyland is great for the city and the city is great for Disneyland.”

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels, with the two latest books being Reagan Country: A Pastor Stephen Grant Noveland Heroes and Villains: A Pastor Stephen Grant Short Story. He can be contacted at