Florida House passes bill to dissolve Disney’s special zone – The Hollywood Reporter

The battle for Reedy Creek reached a climax on Thursday with Florida lawmakers voting to send a bill that would strip Disney of special privileges from Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it. this bill into law.

The results debunked what many saw as a move by Florida Republicans to retaliate against Disney’s opposition to the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law and a distraction from redrawing the image. Congressional map would eliminate two black distractions. The fight against Disney waged by DeSantis is the latest front in the culture war over the COVID-19 restrictions, sex and gender that have landed him in the running for president.

Dissolution of the Reedy Creek Improvement Area could have major ripple effects. Orange and Osceola counties, home to Disney’s vast theme park, could inherit more than $1 billion in debt Disney owes. Residents of those counties could also pay an average of $2,200 more per household in local property taxes, according to the report. The Miami Herald.

The feud between Florida lawmakers and Disney began when the company announced it would push for the repeal of the Education Act’s Parental Rights. It initially kept quiet about the law but later opposed it under pressure from employees.

In March, Disney suspended political donations to the state and vowed to push for its abolition. DeSantis hit back by calling the company a “wake-up corporation” trying to influence state affairs.

“If we are to hold the Democratic Party machine and its corporate rulers accountable, we must stand together now,” DeSantis wrote in a provocative ad. funds sent on Wednesday.

Under the proposal, independent special zones that were established before 1968 and have not been renewed since then would be eliminated. It includes a provision that allows re-incorporation after they are dissolved.

Currently, Disney and the residents of the land it owns in Orlando bear the costs of maintaining the site, including paying for emergency services and waste management. The District does not exempt Disney from paying property taxes. The company is the largest tax payer in central Florida. It pays nearly $300 million annually to Orange and Osceola counties along with about $250 million in other state taxes.

If those counties were to take on the job of overseeing Reedy Creek, they would have to do so without meaningful additional funding. The county includes four theme parks, two water parks, a sports complex, 75 miles of roads, 67 miles of waterways, its own emergency services, an environmental science lab, a facility electricity generation and distribution, a natural gas distribution system and a unique waste collection system.

The Disney Special Tax District waives a wide range of regulations and certain taxes and fees related to emergency services and road maintenance.

Some critics argue that the Florida Legislature cannot unilaterally dissolve Reedy Creek.

Under state planning and development regulations, a majority of the county’s resident voters must approve the dissolution of their district.

Landowners in Reedy Creek elect a Board of Supervisors, consisting of five senior Disney employees.

“This is another example of Governor Ron DeSantis’ petty, punitive, and showy politics,” said Representative Anna V. Eskamani, a Democrat from Orlando. The Hollywood Reporter. “He would rather deviate and distract from the fact that he is erasing black minority counties from Florida’s congressional map and ignoring real-life issues because that appeals to him.” his political base. Meanwhile, every day people are struggling to make a living in our state. It is unsettling to see his political ambitions supplant the needs of the state.”

Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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