Lawsuit Filed to Stop Anaheim Bed Tax Giveaway

ANAHEIM — Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development (OCCORD) and four Anaheim community leaders announced today that they have filed a lawsuit against the City of Anaheim to stop the $158 million bed-tax subsidy for luxury hotel developers in the Anaheim resort. The lawsuit contends that the subsidy itself was a gift of public funds and alleges violations of the Anaheim City Charter and the California Environmental Quality Act.  Community leaders also allege violations of the Ralph M. Brown Act and intend to add these allegations to the lawsuit if the City fails to cure them. Here is the complaint that was filed today.

Over the past four weeks, Anaheim residents have turned out in large numbers to express outrage and disappointment with the City’s decision to approve the subsidy, which will deprive vital city services of necessary revenues for the next fifteen years, while getting nothing for the community in return. This giveaway was approved at a time when the City is already laying off librarians, outsourcing park maintenance and graffiti clean-up, and lacking sufficient funds to keep promises made to residents.

Dr. Jose Moreno, Anaheim City School District Board member and President Los Amigos Orange County

“Already, our kids don’t have enough access to libraries, parks, and open space,” said Plaintiff Dr. Jose Moreno, Member of the Board of Education for the Anaheim City School District. “By giving away future revenues, this $158 million subsidy ensures that our kids won’t have those resources for the next 15 years.”

“The City of Anaheim had an opportunity to negotiate a great deal for Anaheim residents and workers in exchange for what developers wanted, but instead of negotiating, they gave away the store” said Eric Altman, OCCORD Executive Director.  “Ironically, subsidy proponents point to the wildly successful LA Live development around LA’s Staples Center as an example of what they want for Anaheim, but LA Live provided measurable community benefits – good jobs, affordable housing, and important community resources – in exchange for city subsidies.”

OCCORD and community leaders will announced the lawsuit at a press conference in front of Ponderosa Elementary School library in Anaheim.  The City had promised residents that the school library would be open to the public after hours, but the promise has not yet been kept due to lack of funds.

OCCORD is a nonprofit organization committed to economic development that benefits everyone who lives and works in Orange County’s diverse communities.

  3 comments for “Lawsuit Filed to Stop Anaheim Bed Tax Giveaway

  1. Jason Young
    February 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    How will this “deprive vital city services of necessary revenues for the next fifteen years”? Did you do any research into this matter or just spew out whatever comes to your mind? The City of Anaheim isn’t spending a dime on this development. The money is coming from future tax revenue that will be generated by these two hotels via TOT (transient occupancy tax).

    • February 29, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      Jason,

      There are costs to the city for new development. City services such as police, fire, public works, etc. are needed to support the project. The purpose of TOT taxes is to support city services, not to fund hotel development.

  2. just asking?
    February 29, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Mr. Young’s argument assumes that no other development would take place if the #158M is not gifted to the unnamed developer. I don’t really think the land is that worthless that nobody else would develop a revenue generating business on the parcel. Or are we to believe that the area would be a ghost town without public subsidy?

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