Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray

This came over the transom a little while ago from Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray:

Statement by Council Member Kris Murray on passage of GardenWalk Hotels economic assistance agreements

Anaheim–The Anaheim City Council has voted to approve the GardenWalk Hotels economic assistance program, in a move expected to generate nearly $500 million in new city revenues according to city staff.

Council Member Kris Murray gave the following statement:

 “This is a win-win for our city. 

This program increases city revenues without raising taxes, which allows us to fund neighborhood programs like parks and libraries, along with our vital police and fire services. And no general revenue dollars will ever be spent on this project.

 This ensures that Anaheim remains a tourism leader and continues attracting conventions, sporting events and entertainment which draw visitors to our beautiful city and its shops, restaurants and hotels. The result will be expanded economic activity for local businesses, more jobs for residents and more general revenue dollars to fund city services and neighborhood needs. 

This is a public-private partnership aimed at expanding Anaheim’s tourism industry by building high-quality hotels creating 1,300 permanent local jobs and as many as 3,000 skilled jobs during construction.

City staff estimate the program will generate nearly $500 million in new revenue over the life of the agreement. At the end of the agreement, the project should produce $25 million in annual tax revenue for as long as the hotels are open and successful. 

Opponents have attempted to say this program “gives away” city funds, when in fact no general revenue dollars will ever be paid to the project owners. The program is structured to allow the project owners to pay a reduced amount in city taxes once the hotels are up and running. And the tax reduction is capped at $158 million over twenty years. 

This program has also been called unfair because it supposedly benefits only one group. In fact, the program has always been open to property owners who want to expand in Anaheim’s vital tourism areas. Tonight, I also called for an ordinance creating a standing economic development program in our city.”