The Florida The legislature has passed a bill to dissolve Disney-controlled private government, which provides municipal services for its 27,000 acres (nearly 11,000 hectares) in Sunshine State.

Proposal, advanced republican Gov. Ron DeSantis was largely seen as retribution for Disney’s criticism of a new state law that critics called “Don’t Talk About Gays,” which bans the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten until third grade.

The entertainment giant has not commented publicly on a proposal to dissolve its 55-year-old government.


The bill, passed by the legislature on Thursday, will eliminate the Reed Creek improvement area, as known to the Disney government, as well as several other similar areas by June 2023.

The measure allows the county to rebuild, leaving Disney and lawmakers the opportunity to reconsider their deal by June 2023.

“By doing it so early, we have until next June or July before that together, so we’re actually giving ourselves more time to think,” the Republican said. Senate President Wilton Simpson. “I don’t know what will come to an end, but I know it’s a very worthy process that we’re taking, and I think that everything that comes out of it will be better than what we have today.”


Now the bill is waiting for the expected signature of the governor.

While the details are far from clear, the proposal could have huge tax implications for Disney. State lawmakers who oppose the bill also warned that it could lead to homeowners getting large tax bills if they have to absorb the costs paid by the company.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, whose county is partly home to Disney World, said it would be “catastrophic for our budget” if the county would have to bear the cost of public safety at the theme park resort. Reed Creek is currently reimbursing the Orange County Sheriff for the cost of public safety.

“If the district leaves and they no longer pay for these state security costs, and then it has to go to other county budgets, it will be a net loss for the rest of Orange County taxpayers,” Demings said.


The company sold the idea to Florida lawmakers in 1967 as part of its plans to build an extensive East Coast theme park that would include a futuristic city.

The city never materialized, but Walt Disney World nonetheless became a grand entertainment center in Orlando, while retaining government powers that allowed it to decide what and how to build, as well as issue bonds and provide services such as zoning. fire protection and utilities.

The Reedy Creek improvement area, as known to the Disney government, has been allowed to build its own roads, run its own sewage treatment plants, run its own fire department, set its own building codes and inspect Disney’s buildings for safety.

In the current budget year, the district’s revenues amounted to 169 million dollars, expenditures – 178 million dollars.

Disney is a major political player in Florida as well as the rest of the country. Walt Disney Co. and its affiliates have made more than $ 20 million in political contributions to both Republicans and Democrats in the 2020 election cycle, the last year for which figures are available, according to the Center for Responsible Policy, which tracks such spending.

That same year, Disney-affiliated organizations donated $ 10.5 million to the America First Action Committee, which supports former Republican President Donald Trump. Disney has also contributed $ 1.2 million to support President Joe Biden’s campaign.

In response to the Gender Instruction Act, Disney has announced it is suspending political donations to the state and will support organizations that oppose it.


DeSantis spoke out against Disney after the company opposed the Gender Instruction Act.

This week, as lawmakers returned to the Capitol for a special legislative session dedicated to the reorganization of Congress, DeSantis issued a proclamation allowing them to also pass a law to eliminate the Reedy Creek area.

For the governor, the attack on Disney is his last volley in a cultural war over racial, gender and coronavirus policies, a battle that has made him one of the most popular Republican politicians in the country and a likely presidential candidate in 2024. year.

“If Disney wants to get into a fight, they’ve chosen the wrong guy,” the governor wrote in a fundraising email. “As governor, I was elected to put the people of Florida first, and I will not allow a corporation that has woken up in California to run our state.”

Republican MP Randy Fine, sponsor of the district liquidation bill, said it was time to change.

“You push the hornet’s nest, everything comes. And I will say this: you understood me in one thing – this bill is really aimed at one company. It’s aimed at Walt Disney Co., ”Fine said. “You want to know why? Because it’s the only company in the state that has ever been given the right to run itself. “

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