The Florida Senate just passed a bill that would completely dissolve Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the Florida Senate has just passed a bill that will dissolve Walt Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District 23-16. This comes after weeks of drama surrounding the Walt Disney World Resort and the state of Florida after the company’s divisive stance on the state’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The decision also eliminates two Black districts and tilts the balance of the delegation more Republican. Both measures were pushed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, which one Democrat called a “hijack” of the Legislature’s duties.
The last few months have been an incredibly tumultuous time for The Walt Disney Company. As soon as word got out that the company had actually backhandedly supported Florida’s controversial Parental Rights law, fans, employees, and leaders were stunned. This resulted in the company backtracking with CEO Bob Chapek even pledging millions of dollars toward the Human Rights Campaign.
This firm stance against the new bill caused friction between the company and the state of Florida, with Gov. Ron DeSantis continuing to escalate the battle with incendiary words and potential actions. As of yesterday, Gov. DeSantis heightened the stakes, publicly announcing he was considering terminating the special treatment Disney has been receiving due to the state’s Reedy Creek Improvement act.
The Reedy Creek Improvement Act essentially allows Walt Disney World to reside in Florida unregulated, acting as its own “government” in a way. The act involved creating a special taxing district that acts with the same authority as a county government. The legislation made the claim that landowners within the Reedy Creek Improvement District, primarily Walt Disney World, could be allowed to be solely responsible for paying the cost of providing typical municipal services like power, water, roads, fire protection etc. Local taxpayers, meaning residents of Orange and Osceola County, would not have to pay for building or maintaining those services.
The relationship between the state of Florida and the Walt Disney World Resort seems to be hanging in the balance. We recently reported how the dissolution of the Reedy Creek Improvement Act could financially affect taxpayers. We will continue to update our story as more information comes out.
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