Florida Legislature Passes Bill Eliminating Disney’s Special Tax Status

Florida Legislature Passes Bill Eliminating Disney’s Special Tax Status

In another win for Gov. , the Republican-controlled state legislature voted to dissolve Disney’s special tax and self-government status.

Since 1967, Florida has given Disney special status to operate as an independent government within its Orlando-area theme parks and resorts.

Thursday’s development could have significant implications for Disney and Florida.

The New York Post further reports:

Florida’s Republican-led House voted Thursday to approve a bill eliminating the Walt Disney Company’s special tax district which allows it to self-govern its land, sending the measure to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk to be signed into law. 

The bill passed by a 70-38 vote and is expected to be signed by the Republican governor, who earlier this week announced lawmakers would consider the termination of special districts in the state – including the Reedy Creek Improvement District, on which Disney World sits.

If signed, the legislation would not take effect until June 2023 and would affect six districts in Florida.

Reedy Creek was created in 1967 to help persuade Disney to locate its East Coast theme park in the Sunshine State.

DeSantis’ feud with Disney seemingly arose out of its public opposition to HB 1557, the Parental Rights in Education bill (derisively known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by its critics). 

The bill prohibits classroom instruction related to “sexual orientation or gender identity” for children in grades three and below.

After DeSantis signed the bill into law,  posted a statement on Twitter saying its “goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts.”

So, what do you think? Was DeSantis’ response justified or ill-conceived — especially considering Disney’s status as his state’s largest employer and the primary reason behind Central Florida’s explosive growth?

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