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Florida passes bill revoking Disney World’s self-governance privileges

Apr 21, 2022

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The Florida House of Representatives voted to pass a bill that would effectively end Walt Disney’s World’s self-governance. Thursday’s vote came a day after the state’s Senate also approved of the bill.

The bill was introduced following Disney’s criticism of a recently-passed education law critics refer to as the “Don’t Say Gay” law. It bars instruction on sexual orientation, gender identity or anything that is not “age appropriate or developmentally appropriate” in kindergarten through third grade.

In a statement after the signing, Disney said the then-bill “should never have passed and should never have been signed into law.” Disney also said it would suspend political donations in Florida and support organizations working to oppose the new law.

“They said ‘we want to bring California values to Florida. We want to come in and misrepresent laws, that the legislature has passed, we actually want to tell Floridians how they should live their life,’” State Rep. Randy Fine (R-FL) said on CNBC’s Squawk Box. “Floridians said ‘we had enough.’ You’re a guest in our state, you aren’t owed these special privileges that your competitors don’t have that no other company has in the state of Florida, we’re going to take a look at them.”

The bill revokes Disney World’s self-governance by eliminating the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special district that governs Disney World. It’s one of six special districts in the state that will be eliminated by June 2023.

Reedy Creek was created by state lawmakers in 1967 in part to attract Disney to build in the Orlando area. The district gives the company the right to issue bonds, assess taxes, enforce its own safety codes and build just about anything.

“Disney and other woke corporations won’t get away with peddling their unchecked pressure campaigns any longer,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) wrote in a fundraising pitch Wednesday. “If we want to keep the Democrat machine and their corporate lapdogs accountable, we have to stand together now.”

In addition to removing Disney World’s self-governance privileges, the bill could have huge tax implications for Disney. Democrats in the state have criticized the proposal as retaliation against the company and warned that local homeowners could get hit with big tax bills if they have to absorb bond debt from Disney.

Tags:

Jimmie Johnson: TAKING CONTROL OF THE MAGIC KINGDOM.
FLORIDA LAWMAKERS PASSED A BILL THAT WOULD REPEAL DISNEY WORLD’S PRIVILEGES TO GOVERN ITSELF.
THE MOVE COMES IN RESPONSE TO THE DISNEY COMPANY’S PUBLIC REBUKE OF FLORIDA’S NEW EDUCATION LAW – WHAT CRITICS HAVE CALLED “DON’T SAY GAY”.
Rep. Randy Fine: “They said ‘we want to bring California values to Florida. We want to come in and misrepresent laws, that the legislature has passed, we actually want to tell Floridians how they should live their life, the California way.’ And Floridians said ‘we had enough.’ You’re a guest in our state, you aren’t owed these special privileges that your competitors don’t have that no other company has in the state of Florida, we’re going to take a look at them.”
Jimmie Johnson: SO, YOU MAY BE ASKING — HOW DOES “DISNEY WORLD HAVE THE RIGHT TO GOVERN ITSELF?
FOR STARTERS, DISNEY WORLD IS A PART OF THE “REEDY CREEK IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT” — ONE OF SIX SO-CALLED SPECIAL DISTRICTS IN THE STATE THAT WERE CREATED BACK IN THE 1960s.
THIS SPECIAL DESIGNATION GIVES THE COMPANY THE RIGHT TO ISSUE BONDS, ASSESS TAXES, ENFORCE ITS OWN SAFETY CODES – AND BUILD JUST ABOUT ANYTHING.
AS YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO GUESS — PASSAGE OF THE BILL WOULD HAVE DISNEY-SIZE TAX IMPLICATIONS FOR THE COMPANY.
WE’RE STILL WAITING TO HEAR DISNEY’S RESPONSE TO THE BILL.


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