Though there were some claims that his administration would back down to Disney after the furor over it’s leftism died down and the corporate lobbyists sunk their talons in, it looks like Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida is following through on his pledge to strike back at woke Disney by revoking its tax privileges.
Announcing that was the DeSantis War Room Twitter account, which said:
🚨BREAKING: Florida is dissolving the Corporate Kingdom by permanently eliminating Disney’s self-governing status, appointing a state-controlled board accountable to Floridians that can impose taxes on Disney for infrastructure projects, and ensuring Disney pays its own debts!☑️
More details on the bill followed in two subsequent tweets highlighting what the new law would do to put te Woke Kingdom in its place:
Cope… it's now going to be under the control of the State of Florida, with a board appointed by Governor DeSantis, and the ability to tax Disney to contribute to state infrastructure projects.
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) February 6, 2023
Those were the ideas for winding down Disney’s special governing powers in the Reedy Creek district proposed in a bill put forth by the Florida legislature. Specifically, the bill was introduced by state Rep. Fred Hawkins
Returning to Tallahassee for a special session on Monday meant to address what to do with with Reedy Creek, the lawmakers ended up putting forth legislature that would rebrand the area as the “Central Florida Tourism Oversight District,” limit the power of the district to embark on projects, and replace the district’s current board with a five member board of supervisors chosen by the governor. The state Senate would approve the appointees to the board.
Though it would potentially wrangle Disney under control somewhat, the bill does try to limit the damage done to Disney. Namely, the bill would gaurantee that the district’s existing debt, about $1 billion, will not be affected. Nor will existing contracts.
That provision is contained on page 189-page bill, which states:
“No bond or other instrument of indebtedness previously issued by the district or any district project financed by bonds or other instruments of indebtedness shall be affected by this act. The provisions of this act shall not affect existing contracts that the district entered into prior to the effective date of this act. The provisions of this act shall be liberally construed in favor of avoiding any events of default or breach under outstanding bonds or other instruments of indebtedness or the district’s existing and legally valid contracts.”
Walt Disney World Resort President Jeff Vahle, for his part, responded to the bill by saying:
Disney said Monday it is watching the bill. “We are monitoring the progression of the draft legislation, which is complex given the long history of the Reedy Creek Improvement Distric. Disney works under a number of different models and jurisdictions around the world, and regardless of the outcome, we remain committed to providing the highest quality experience for the millions of guests who visit each year.”
Though Team DeSantis was evidently exited about the bill, as shown by the DeSantis War Room post, some conservatives were less than impressed with its softer than hoped treatment of Disney. One such person was Anthony Sabatini, who said:
The Disney Bill just got filed
So basically Woke Disney gets to keep its nearly tax-free, regulation-free status—but with a different Board
And now they are not allowed to have an airport
What a massive capitulation this is
HUGE win for Woke Disney
BIG loss for conservatives
By: Will Tanner. Follow me on Twitter @Will_Tanner_1
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