Florida Lawmakers To Take Away Disney’s Special Privileges

(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- The Florida legislature has voted to end the special designation Walt Disney Company has had in the state for years, allowing it to operate as a self-governing entity.
On Thursday, final approval was given by the Florida House of Representatives, a day after the state Senate did the same. The bill will head to the office of Governor Ron DeSantis, who is widely expected to sign it into law.
The law is expected to strip the company of its ability to self-govern the 25,000 acres it owns and operates Walt Disney World from. The area in Central Florida is known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District.
Included inside the district are all four of the theme parks Disney runs, the two water parks it runs and 175 miles of roads. Essentially, it acts as a county government, as it provides all water, roads, power and fire-fighting services to the location, which sits in both Osceola and Orange counties.
In return for governing the area on its own, Disney has enjoyed things such as relief from fees and taxes that the state would otherwise charge.
The status it had in the area also allowed the district to issue various bonds that have tax advantages so that it can fun improvements. It also allowed Disney to be able to avoid the cumbersome process of getting building permits so they can move forward with certain projects.
The state, fully led by a Republican legislature and Republican governor, moved ahead with stripping Disney of this status, in part because of the company’s opposition to a newly-enacted state law in Florida that limits what can and can’t be taught around LGBTQ issues in public schools.
While this would seemingly be a huge blow to Disney and its operations, many experts have said that the ultimate financial impact this legislation will bring to both the state of Florida and Walt Disney Co. is uncertain just yet.
Not having the status will certainly make it more difficult for Disney to move forward with certain projects, and it will have to deal with the state government to get some things done. On the flip side, the state and local governments will now be responsible for taking over things such as fire services and road maintenance that they didn’t have to worry about before.
The change brought about by this legislation won’t go into effect until June of 2023, so it’s possible things could be worked out before then.
Immediately following the passage of Florida’s new education bill, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, Disney didn’t come out to oppose it. They were then criticized by many LGBTQ groups, as well as some of their employees.
That led Disney to ultimately condemn Florida’s law, saying it intended to suspend all political donations in the meantime as it reviewed the situation.
That’s when DeSantis struck back, requesting that the state Legislature consider stripping Disney of the special status it has. In only three days’ time, that legislation was filed and then passed.