CITY OF ANAHEIM

Overview + Elected Officials


Elected officials

Title: Mayor

Name Tom Tait

Email: ttait@anaheim.net

Phone: (714) 765-5247

Term Expires: 2018

Title: Vice Mayor

Name Lucille Kring

Email: lkring@anaheim.net

Phone: (714) 765-5247

Term Expires: 2016

Title: Council Member

Name Kris Murray

Email: kmurray@anaheim.net

Phone: (714) 765-5247

Term Expires: 2018

Title: Council Member

Name Jordan Brandman

Email: amezzacappa@anaheim.net

Phone: (714) 765-5247

Term Expires: 2016

Title: Council Member

Name James Vanderbilt

Email: sray@anaheim.net

Phone: (714) 765-5247

Term Expires: 2018

Overview

Population 336,265  (31 of 538)
Median Individual Earnings $39,989  (285 of 474)
Median Home Price $467,900  (154 of 345)
Web Site Address http://www.anaheim.net

Articles

Analysis

TRANSIENT OCCUPANCY TAX (TOT) SUBSIDY

Background

Anaheim hotels charge guests a 15% Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) – the highest percentage in Orange County. Revenue from the TOT tax accounts for 44.7% of all Anaheim tax revenue. But the city council has voted consistently to grant rebates on the TOT to what it calls “four diamond” hotels to encourage economic development. The luxury hoteliers receive a 70% rebate on the TOT.

-Matt Smith

 

Current Issue, 2016

Disneyland unveils a plan to build a new luxury hotel. That same week, Disneyland requests that the city of Anaheim file their new hotel under the TOT subsidy given to other luxury hoteliers. The estimated cost of this subsidy is upwards of $200 million. This number could rise depending on the room rate and hotel construction costs. Ultimately, Disneyland would receive a 70% rebate on all TOT taxes over the next 20 years. If approved, this subsidy would be the largest in Anaheim history. This issue is expected to be voted on in July 2016.

-Matt Smith

 

History

2009

The Anaheim City Council, by a 3-1 vote, approved a $76.3 million “bed tax” subsidy for two new proposed GardenWalk hotels. The developers, Bill O’Connell and Ajesh Patel, were given this subsidy based on the fact that the proposed hotels were considered “four diamond.” City Council members, including former Mayor Curt Pringle, Harry Sidhu, and Robert Hernandez voted for, while Lorrie Galloway voted against. Councilwoman Lucille Kring abstained from the vote. However, as the cost of development increased, O’Connell and Patel sought a higher subsidy.

-Matt Smith

 

2012

The City Council voted on whether to increase the subsidy for the GardenWalk development based on the rising construction costs. By a 3-2 vote, the Council approved nearly doubling the subsidy to $158 million over the next 15 years. Kris Murray, Gail Eastman, and Harry Sidhu voted in favor of the measure, while Mayor Tom Tait and Lorrie Galloway voted against. However, shortly after the vote a Superior Court ruled the vote invalid. This ruling was based on the fact that the public did not receive proper information about the measure before it was voted on. The original vote was on an 80% subsidy given out over 15 years.

-Matt Smith

 

2013

In a re-vote, the City Council once again voted to more than double the subsidy for the GardenWalk properties. However, the new vote brought the subsidy down to 70%, but increased the time period to 20 years. The Council voted 4-1 to approve the new $158 million subsidy for the two proposed properties. Mayor Tom Tait was the lone dissenter, with Lucille Kring, Kris Murray, Jordan Brandman, and James Vanderbilt voting in favor of the measure.

-Matt Smith

____________________________________________________________________________

2015, GATE TAX BAN

The Anaheim City Council voted to approve the Disneyland Gate-Tax Ban in July 2015, extending a ban on taxes on admission the park. Councilwoman Kris Murray led the 3-2 majority in favor of the gate-tax ban, arguing that it would spur economic growth. Along with Jordan Brandman and Lucille Kring. Murray voted for the gate-tax ban. Mayor Tom Tait and James Vanderbilt voted against. Under this legislation, Disneyland is exempt from all ticket taxes in exchange for the company’s promise to invest $1 billion in the park over the next 30 years. For 15 years after, Disneyland remains exempt from a tax on tickets in exchange for an additional $500 million park investment.

-Matt Smith

Ultimately, the gate-tax ban bars voters from levying a tax on Disneyland tickets for the next 45 years. The deal makes the park unique among all other Anaheim businesses – the only business granted a waiver on admissions fees.

-Matt Smith

 

Mayor Tait argued that the gate-tax ban “ties the hands” of the voters even if Anaheim hits hard times. In addition, there was nothing to indicate that Disneyland wasn’t already seeking to expand. In order to compete with Universal and its recently opened World of Harry Potter, park improvements were nearly inevitable. This deal was ultimately a win-win for Disneyland.

-Matt Smith

____________________________________________________________________________

2016, SHORT-TERM RENTALS

Short-term rentals have become more popular, thanks in part to the rise of such shared-economy platforms as Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO. With new popularity has come some controversy, as in Anaheim where long-term residents complain the short-term rentals have become a nuisance.

-Ethan Musser

 

Proponents of the industry argue that STRs provide supplemental income to middle-class homeowners, providing them with new sources of income. Other supporters say the incentive to offer short-term rentals leads to upgrades in homes and general improvement in neighborhoods.

-Ethan Musser

Critics say the home rentals represent the intrusion of purely commercial ventures – hotels erupting in residential neighborhoods – and STRs therefore represent a simple zoning violation. Some critics say much of what transpires through Airbnb is illegal. Massachusetts was among the first to propose limits on STRs, and New Orleans has followed suit.

-Ethan Musser
 

One could argue that the real crux of the problem is that already existing regulation is not enforced. For instance, the complaints are largely about late-night noise and trash. Anaheim already has ordinances prohibiting littering and excessive noise from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. If these ordinances were enforced, it seems the vast majority of issues residents have with STRs would be eliminated.

-Ethan Musser

In a city looking to regulate STRs, one might expect pressure for regulation of other engines of the sharing economy. However, unlike New York and Austin, Anaheim officials have been largely supportive of ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft, and other sharing services.

-Ethan Musser

 

HISTORY OF STRs IN ANAHEIM

On April 12, 2016, the Anaheim City Council voted unanimously to extend a moratorium under which no new short-term rental (STR) will be accepted until May 3, 2017.

-Ethan Musser

 

The moratorium was first passed on September 15, 2015 by a vote of 4-1 with Mayor Tait and Council Members Kring, Murray and Vanderbilt in favor. Council Member Brandman was the only vote against. However, Brandman noted that he did not oppose the moratorium, but he thought that more time should be given for stakeholders to meet with staff. He then moved to postpone action on this item until the October 6 meeting. He and Council Member Murray were the only two in favor of postponing action, and this motion failed. Then on October 20, 2015, the Council voted unanimously to extend the moratorium for six months.

-Ethan Musser

 

When the Council again voted on April 12, 2016 unanimously to extend the moratorium to May 3, 2017, they did so in the presence of crowds of Anaheim residents – some advocating a complete ban on STRs in residential neighborhoods. A few STR owners spoke in favor of allowing STRs to operate in compliance with city regulation. One owner noted that Orlando has over 7000 STRs and it has found a way for the sharing economy to peacefully coincide with permanent residents. In Orlando, the zoning is complex, and certain areas are approved for STRs, while others are not. In addition, communities must approve of STRs in order for them to be allowed in the area. This might be a model that could succeed in Anaheim.

-Ethan Musser

____________________________________________________________________________

Budget of the City of Anaheim

 

Anaheim’s citywide budget is comprised of many different sources of funding. Most of these sources, including federal and state grants, are restricted; they can only be used for specified purposes. Other sources, including local taxes, are unrestricted; they can be used for any purpose. The citywide budget totaled $1667.4 million in fiscal year 2015/2016.

-Blake Dixon

 

One major purpose of restricted funds is to finance Anaheim’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP), defined as capital investments that “normally have long, useful lives.” In fiscal year 2015/2016, the CIP totaled $298.1 million, and included investments in commercial entertainment venues ($91.2 million), transportation improvements ($89.5 million), electric systems ($45.0 million), water systems ($22.9 million), recreation/parks ($18.7 million), downtown projects/municipal facilities ($14.8 million), wastewater systems ($14.5 million), and other utilities technology ($1.5 million).

-Blake Dixon

 

The most important use of Anaheim’s unrestricted funds is to finance the General Fund—the main operating fund of the city. The General Fund is used to fund “major city services such as Police, Fire, Parks and Libraries.” The General Fund had revenues totaling $286.2 million and expenditures totaling $286.0 million in fiscal year 2015/2016. Revenues came from “transient occupancy taxes (TOT), sales and use taxes, property taxes, fees, permits and other charges, and a host of miscellaneous revenue.” Expenditures were focused on Police and Fire, public utilities and public works, community and economic development, city administration, and human resources.

-Blake Dixon

 

The main source of revenue for Anaheim’s General Fund is the TOT. In fiscal year 2015/2016, the TOT accounted for $133 million, or about 46.5%, of the General Fund. The next largest source of revenue is the sales tax, accounting for $77.2 million, or nearly 27%, of the General Fund. Property taxes follow closely behind sales tax as a major source of revenue, contributing $68.9 million, or about 24%, of the General Fund. All other sources of revenue account for $7.1 million, or about 2.5%, of the General Fund.

-Blake Dixon

 

Overall, personnel services account for nearly 75% of Anaheim’s General Fund expenditures. The General Fund is chiefly concerned with funding Police and Fire. In fiscal year 2015/2016, Police and Fire accounted for $186.0 million, or about 65%, of the total expenditures of the General Fund. What Anaheim calls “Ensuring Quality of Life,” which includes expenditures on planning and building, community and economic development, community services, conventions, sports, and entertainment, accounted for $48.7 million, or about 17%, of the total expenditures of the General Fund. Public utilities and public works accounted for $23.1 million, or about 8.1%, of the total expenditures. Expenditures on city administration, including those allocated to the city council, city attorney, city clerk, and city treasurer, accounted for $18.1 million, or about 6.3% of the total expenditures of the General Fund. Supporting activities, including finance and human resources, comprised the remaining $10.1 million, or 3.5%, of the General Fund.

-Blake Dixon

____________________________________________________________________________

 

2016, Compensation and Benefits

Current obligations

 

In 2014, the last year for which data is available, Anaheim spent a total of $53,280,969, roughly 20% of its general fund, on pension contributions alone. Even so, the city’s unfunded pension liability – the difference between the city’s obligations to its retirees and the assets it has to pay them – was $508 million, more than twice Anaheim’s 2014 revenue. In order to maintain long-term solvency, Anaheim still has a ways to go in reforming its compensation and pension systems, but it is currently moving in the wrong direction.

-David Schwartzman

 

Pension and compensation votes, November 2012

The California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act, passed in 2012, allowing cities to cut public safety union pensions to 2.0% in contract negotiations. On a 4-1 vote, the Anaheim city councilcut firefighters’ pensions more modestly, from 3% to 2.7% of their highest annual salary per years worked Kris Murray, Harry Sidhu, Gail Eastman, and Lorri Galloway all voted for the deal, while Mayor Tom Tait opposed it. Supporters of the 2.7% deal predicted it would reduce firefighter payroll expenses by up to 7 percent. Tait looked to San Diego and San Jose, where officials reduced pensions much further and did a better job of relieving the burden on taxpayers.

-David Schwartzman

 

April 2013

 

Following its action on the firefighters contract in 2012, the city council voted 4-1 to approve a new police union contract, cutting pensions of new police officers from 3% to 2.7% of their highest annual salary per years worked. Kris Murray, Lucille Kring, Jordan Brandman and Gail Eastman voted for the deal, while Tom Tait again opposed the measure because he did not believe it went far enough to protect the solvency of the city. He wanted to lower it further, as the state of California allowed under the 2012 reform act. City officials said the new contract would save the city $1.6 million in the short-term.

-David Schwartzman

 

January 2016

 

The city council voted 4-1 to raise firefighter salaries by 10% by mid-2017, coupled with a 3% increase in firefighter contributions to pensions. Kris Murray, Lucille Kring, Jordan Brandman and James Vanderbilt voted for the deal, arguing that firefighters deserved a raise because they had foregone raises since 2009. Mayor Tom Tait opposed this measure because he said that Anaheim did not have the money for this increase, and voiced concern about how the pay raise would affect Anaheim’s $580 million unfunded pension liability.

-David Schwartzman

 


Issues


Salaries


Pensions


Overview


ACTIVE EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION DATA
Median Salary for Full Time Employees $97,941  (46 of 454)
Median Benefits for Full Time Employees $38,230  (49 of 453)
Median Total Comp for Full Time Employees $136,171  (40 of 454)
Median Total Comp (Gov) / Median Total Comp (Private) 341%  (31 of 449)
Name of Highest Paid Employee Edwards, Marcie L
Title of Highest Paid Employee City Manager
Total Comp for Highest Paid Employee $375,728  (42 of 426)
Total Salaries (Full and Part-Time) $201,580,320
Total Salaries + Benefits (Total Comp, Full and Part-Time) $277,003,392
Number of Full Time Employees 1,661
Full Time Employees / Population 0.49%  (107 of 455)
RETIRED EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION DATA
Pension Contribution $59,747
Pension Unfunded Liability $560,051
Pension Contribution / Total Revenue 0.01%  (280 of 280)
Name of Former Employee with Largest Pension Thomas J Wood
Amount of Largest Pension $248,914
Other Post Retirement Benefits Data (Healthcare, etc.)
OPEB Required Contribution $10,145,000
OPEB Actual Contribution $10,145,000
Unfunded OPEB Liability $163,189,000
OPEB Required Contribution / Total Revenue 0.88%  (165 of 263)
Required Pension and OPEB Contribution / Total Revenue 0.88%  (224 of 226)

Quality of Services


Violent Crimes per 100,000 Population 1,130  (14 of 452)
Property Crimes per 100,000 Population 9,611  (12 of 455)
Pavement Condition Index 66
Sales Tax Rate 8.000%  (258 of 427)
Library Hours (per week) 31  (99 of 132)
Median Wages General Public 27,732
Median Benefits General Public 12,257

Employee Compensation


Financial Health


Total Debt / Total Revenue 149.9%  (34 of 338)
General Fund Balance / General Fund Expenditures 17.1%  (355 of 388)
General Fund Surplus / General Fund Revenue 14.4%  (80 of 387)
Change in Governmental Fund Revenue 10.4%  (115 of 365)
Public Safety Expense / Total Governmental Fund Revenue 32.6%  (257 of 377)
Public Safety Expense / General Fund Revenue 57.6%  (127 of 377)
Governmental Fund Revenue $547,578,000
Total Revenue Per Capita $3,443  (45 of 481)
Governmental Fund Expenditures $552,482,000
Total Expenditures per Capita $3,776  (33 of 481)
Bankruptcy Risk (within 1 Year) 0.25%  (65 of 383)

Finances


Financial Statements


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Surplus / (Deficit) General Fund Other Funds Total Gov. Funds
Surplus / (Deficit) $  42,236,000 $  (47,140,000) $  (4,904,000)
Revenues
Total Revenues $  293,864,000 $  253,714,000 $  547,578,000
Intergovernmental 2,693,000 213,062,000 215,755,000
Transient occupancy taxes 110,134,000 0 110,134,000
Sales and use taxes 68,581,000 0 68,581,000
Property Tax 65,565,000 717,000 66,282,000
Charge for services 14,491,000 18,078,000 32,569,000
Licenses and permits 18,738,000 2,615,000 21,353,000
Use of money and property 3,372,000 13,309,000 16,681,000
Other Taxes 7,012,000 0 7,012,000
Miscellaneous 622,000 5,933,000 6,555,000
Fines and forfeitures 2,656,000 0 2,656,000
Long Term Debt $  1,735,628,000
General Fund Balance $  43,015,000
Expenditures
Total Expenditures $  251,628,000 $  300,854,000 $  552,482,000
Capital Outlay 785,000 135,812,000 136,597,000
Police 112,767,000 8,195,000 120,962,000
Community development 1,254,000 82,404,000 83,658,000
Fire 56,596,000 933,000 57,529,000
Community services 26,234,000 4,368,000 30,602,000
Public works 15,016,000 14,721,000 29,737,000
Debt Service - Principal 0 24,220,000 24,220,000
Interest Charges 0 18,797,000 18,797,000
Planning 14,784,000 1,302,000 16,086,000
Convention, Sports and Entertainment 783,000 9,931,000 10,714,000
City Attorney 8,036,000 119,000 8,155,000
Finance 4,202,000 52,000 4,254,000
City Administration 3,377,000 0 3,377,000
Public Utilities 2,510,000 0 2,510,000
City Treasurer 2,231,000 0 2,231,000
Human Resources 1,432,000 0 1,432,000
City Clerk 1,073,000 0 1,073,000
City Council 548,000 0 548,000