Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Register
Anaheim Living Wage Initiative


Recently, unions filed an initiative that would require Anaheim to have the highest minimum wage in the nation. The $18/ hour mandated wage unfairly targets certain Anaheim businesses, and as a result of this proposal, Anaheim residents stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars of tax revenue.

While the proponents of this measure want you to believe that it targets only certain businesses, the reality is that it is drafted in a way that would allow it to expand to many more businesses in the Resort District and eventually be expanded to all employers in Anaheim.

Get the facts. This measure:

Will result in an immediate loss of revenue and jobs: With the cancellation of two luxury hotel projects, Anaheim will immediately lose over 3,000 good-paying construction jobs, 1,000 full-time jobs, as well as over $ 300 million in revenue over the next three decades. (Sources: City Council agenda and accompanying reports, item #23 on May 14, 2013, & item #24 on July 12, 2016)

Is a dangerous slippery slope: Today a few businesses are in the cross hairs, but who is next? This initiative will cause employers to eliminate positions, convert full-time workers to part-time workers, and replace workers with automation.

Impact Anaheim’s ability to attract future economic development and investment: This measure increases the minimum wage to $18/hr. in 2022 — the highest in the nation — and includes automatic increases each year thereafter regardless of inflation or recession. This will deter investment from our community.

Fails to learn from others’ mistakes: Following the enactment of the LAX Hotel Ordinance, hotel employment across other parts of LA County increased, while employment declined 10% at LAX hotels subject to the wage increase — resulting in a nearly 20% differential. According to a UW Study, Seattle workers saw a reduction of hours and lower collective pay after the city increased its minimum wage. The report also projected that there are about 5,000 fewer jobs in Seattle than there would have been without the law. (Sources: Beacon Economics Memo to LA City Council, September 22, 2014; National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 23532)

We must protect Anaheim’s economic engine.

Anaheim hotels generate nearly 40% of the city’s total revenue — in fact, the bed tax from hotels grew nearly 250% in just two decades. The Anaheim Resort as a whole provides a net surplus of $ 81.6 million to the city’s budget, providing much needed revenue to city services, such as public safety and parks. (Source: Anaheim City Budget, FY 17-18, Page 130, 150)



California Chamber of Commerce:

“The California Chamber of Commerce strongly opposes this initiative which proposes an $18 per hour mandated minimum wage for selected employers in Anaheim.

If passed, this initiative would impose the single, highest minimum wage anywhere in the nation and drive investment out of Anaheim, which already faces stiff competition for tourism both nationally and internationally.

Governor Brown and the California Legislature already put in place a multiyear plan that will substantially raise the minimum wage throughout the state.

This initiative is not just bad for Anaheim — it is bad for all of California because it will hurt tourism in our state.”

California Restaurant Association:

“An $18 minimum wage would have a devastating impact on restaurants and lead to an untold amount of job loss and reduction in work hours among people who rely on jobs at many businesses in Anaheim. Orange County has a very high cost of living and it should be addressed.

This proposal doesn’t solve that problem. And, it ignores the fact that California’s minimum wage, one of the highest in the country, is set to rise statewide by 36 percent between now and 2022.

This move is a careless use of taxpayer dollars, money that will be spent on an effort that unions must know is a legal dead end: the ballot measure’s language regarding service charges presents Constitutional problems and is sure to be struck down by a court if voters approve the measure at all.”


Visit Anaheim:

“As the destination marketing organization for Anaheim, we are always mindful of any development that impacts the experience of more than 24 million visitors that come to the City of Anaheim every year.

Anaheim is a top tier leisure and convention destination with nearly 25,000 hotel rooms at varying rates, designed to fit a variety of budgets.

We are deeply concerned that this proposal will impact the Anaheim Resort community and thousands of jobs at the various hotels, restaurants and attractions.

Our community benefits directly from industry jobs and valuable services that positively impact their day-to-day lives and we want to make sure those jobs and services are available moving forward.”


National Restaurant Association:

“The National Restaurant Association supports public policies that strengthen and enhance the business climate and opportunities for employees. However, this ballot proposal would do just the opposite. Despite statewide legislation that raises Anaheim’s minimum wage to $15 per hour still phasing in, labor unions are now pushing an initiative that would arbitrarily mandate an $18 per hour minimum wage for certain businesses but not for others. This proposal would have a negative impact on the local economy and job creation for Anaheim workers.”

~ Cicely Simpson, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs


Todd Ament, President/CEO of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce:

“The direct and ripple effects of a $18 minimum wage would be a disaster for businesses large and small in the Resort area, forcing many employers to cut back on hours for their employees, or even resulting in eliminated jobs.

This will also drastically change investment models for employers looking at Anaheim and impact the city’s ability to attract businesses and create jobs.

That would harm the very same hardworking people that the union leaders are claiming to be acting on behalf of, including many employees and small business owners in Anaheim’s multiethnic community.”