Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed legislation into law Friday intended to dissolve Disney’s special tax and governing jurisdiction in Florida.
GOP lawmakers’ move to dismantle the corporate carveout comes after Disney CEO Bob Chapek pledged to oppose the state’s the Parental Rights in Education Law, and the embattled entertainment brand is openly pushing LGBTQIA+ content to young audiences.
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The legislation DeSantis signed would eliminate the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which has existed for 55 years as a vehicle for Disney to govern itself within the state. Florida established Disney’s special tax district in 1967 after Walt Disney asked the Florida Legislature for more control over the development of Walt Disney World.
Disney has paid taxes and fees to the Reedy Creek district since its creation, and in exchange, the district provides governmental services for Disney World, including emergency medial services, road maintenance, electric power, and other public safety services.
The Reedy Creek district, along with several other similarly situated special tax districts, will be dissolved effective June 1, 2023. However, the law allows the districts to be reestablished in the future, which could happen after further negotiation.
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After Florida passed the Parental Rights in Education Law, which prohibits certain grade school teachers from talking about sexuality in the classroom, Chapek said Disney’s goal “is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts.”
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