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DeSantis Signs Bill Ending Disney Special Tax Status

DeSantis Signs Bill Ending Disney Special Tax Status

He also signed the Stop W.O.K.E. Act which codifies “an executive order previous signed by DeSantis that prohibited schools from teaching critical race theory in Florida.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill ending Disney’s self-governing district and special tax status. He also signed into law the Stop W.O.K.E Act and a new congressional map.

The bill eliminates all special benefit districts made before 1968 and has not been renewed.

The Florida Legislature formed Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District in 1967 near Orlando on 27,000 acres.

Disney complained about DeSantis’s parental rights bill that restricts sexual education instruction in grades K-3. Then videos emerged of Disney workers talking about a literal gay agenda to inject into children’s programming.

The Florida Senate passed the bill 23-16. The House passed it 70-38.

Desantis said: “You’re a corporation based in Burbank, California, and you’re gonna marshal your economic might to attack the parents of my state. We view that as a provocation, and we’re going to fight back against that.”

The Stop W.O.K.E. Act is the Stop Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees Act which “will give parents ‘private right of action’ to sue if they think their kids are being taught critical race theory” and “also allow parents to collect attorney fees if they are successful in their suit.”

From WFLA:

House Bill 7, officially named Individual Freedom, but also known as the “Stop WOKE Act,” codified an executive order previous signed by DeSantis that prohibited schools from teaching critical race theory in Florida.

“We believe in education, not indoctrination,” DeSantis said. “We believe an important component of freedom in the state of Florida is the freedom from having oppressive ideologies imposed upon you without your consent, whether it be in the classroom, or whether it be in the workplace.”

The text and supporters of the bill said it was designed to expand Florida’s Civil Rights laws and protections. Critics have said the bill prevents pieces of history from being included in Florida’s curriculum.

“We are not going to use your tax dollars to teach your kids to hate this country or to hate each other,” DeSantis said. “We’re not going to tell a kindergartener that they’re an oppressor based on their race and what may have happened 100 or 200 years ago. And we’re not going to tell other kids that they’re oppressed based on their race.”


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So much for Florida’s mouse problem.
Maybe DeSantis is the guy they need to solve their roach problem, too.
‘Scuse me — “palmetto bug.”

healthguyfsu | April 22, 2022 at 8:04 pm

I hope the bill has further language that better clarifies. Otherwise, progressives will use the lame “not CRT” defense. The VA bill had the words “CRT or its progeny”, which made it more potent.

Now do every corporation the same way.

    Gosport in reply to geronl. | April 22, 2022 at 9:17 pm

    They can’t because Disney had massively more special deals and goodies than any other corporation could dream of. They were essentially a sovereign country within a country.

    Which is why it is hilarious watching the left going all out to support this massive ultra-capitalist institution. Hypocritical much?

    JohnSmith100 in reply to geronl. | April 23, 2022 at 10:16 am

    Yes, and next revoke both the Mickey Mouse copyright extension and the subsequent Sonny Bono extension. It is crazy that copyright has far longer terms than patents.

      Milhouse in reply to JohnSmith100. | April 24, 2022 at 3:23 am

      The Sunny Bono extension was the so-called “Mickey Mouse” extension. And the purpose was to bring US law in line with the EU. I don’t see any move to go back to life-plus-50, or to 75 years for corporate creations. But I also don’t see any move to extend copyrights any further, which means Steamboat Willie will enter the public domain on Jan-1-2024 and Disney is not even trying to do anything about it.

    Milhouse in reply to geronl. | April 24, 2022 at 3:24 am

    What other corporation has its own tax zones?…

smalltownoklahoman | April 22, 2022 at 8:41 pm

Desantis has been an absolutely amazing Gov for Florida! I hope he seriously considers a running for president once he’s term limited out office.

BTW I appreciate this take on what Desantis has been doing:

The left is having a collective meltdown because for too long they’ve slept secure in the knowledge that the RINOs populating the leadership positions would always ‘win graciously’ (by never actually winning and rolling anything back).

Corporations went insane far left because the left would visit very real consequences on them for daring to go against them, they would demand their firings, demand that their ‘friends’ disown them, and visit real violence on them, while the right MIGHT say some mean things on talk shows.

For too long the left has been used to doing whatever the fuck they want, and now they’re faced with the idea that the right is sick of the GOPe and their pathetic cowardice, and that we will no longer put up with passivity.

    JimWoo in reply to Olinser. | April 22, 2022 at 9:51 pm

    “Pathetic cowardice”. You nailed that. Like Kasich sneaking behind a building and crying when he lost to DJT. What a sissy.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Olinser. | April 23, 2022 at 10:18 am

    We are not out of the woods yet, and the day may come when we will have to use force to reign Marxists and Dems in.

What is now front and center here in Florida and to this country is that Ron DeSantis is showing Republicans how to fight back and take no political prisoners. Unlike the demented clown in the White House, DeSantis is not being laughed at but laughing at his enemies.

Disney got a package of very special deals from the Florida legislature for the simple reason that it was bringing huge employment and tourist dollars to the state. The moment Disney committed and built their not so little empire those special deals were on borrowed time as Disney certainly wasn’t going to pull up stakes and move out.

Had Disney remained in their lane of providing entertainment and making their shareholders a heap of money they would have been fine. Instead, Disney decided to go uber-woke, injecting themselves into a state governance/political issue, and thus poked their benefactors in the eye.

They did not chose wisely. They broke the unwritten deal. They are rightfully paying a steep price for their hubris and ingratitude.

A line has been drawn and a lesson taught pour encourager les autres.

    natdj in reply to Gosport. | April 23, 2022 at 6:37 am

    Well put. This Corporate Welfare would have stayed in place here and no one would have bothered. The irony is that the left wanted the Reedy Creek Independent District to be terminated after Disney became a fixture. They just did not like the reason behind it.

    As for DeSantis, I think that the hubris of Disney wanting to control this state and have the Parental Rights Bill to be overturned because of their “grooming” fixations was a bridge to far for him.

This is not the end of Disney’s problems with DeSantis. They are now going to be subjected to all kinds of inspections to see, for instance, if their buildings and facilities are up to code.

All current emotions aside, I wonder how Floridians would feel would Disney decide to leave. There is a lot of grumbling here in CA too about Disney and aside from adults who never grew up and are willing to spend thousands of dollars every year indulging in their childhood fantasies, we wouldn’t miss them if they just went away. I’m guessing the parents who don’t have the energy to say say “no” and just surrender to their kids would relish the news. With mustard.

    As a Floridian who lives in Central Florida my attitude is if Disney could pick up and leave, then leave. Obviously they won’t because their financial problems are greater than a theme park here and besides how do you pick up “The Magic Kingdom”. Yes, Disney will be subject to the same rules as every other business now and as a result there is a level playing field. There is a bigger issue that is rarely being discussed but what Disney has done has caused a schism with gay Americans and families with a gay loved one. As a father of a gay son, he is furious that his sexuality is being lumped in with perverts, child molesters and lunatic fringes on the left. He is not the only one. Many more gay Americans who have hidden in the political closet have had it and are now coming out denouncing corporations like Disney and the lunatic left.

      Valerie in reply to natdj. | April 23, 2022 at 8:28 am

      I live in San Diego, which is very proud of having a family friendly Gay Pride celebration. If you go to the festival, you see lots and lots of — people, just people. Even the guys from “Lips,” who are dressed like the cast for “Hairspray,” are in costume, not skin.

      I went one year and saw some guy unloading himself and a couple of kids in “Indian” costume, the kids with their butt cheeks hanging out. The younger one was fine, the older one looked distinctly uncomfortable. The people I was with, all gay, were eyeing this character with skepticism. They didn’t like the idea of young boys being exhibited like that.

      I suspect that there are a whole lot of gay people who are not exhibitionists or pedophiles.

      Dathurtz in reply to natdj. | April 23, 2022 at 8:56 am


      JohnSmith100 in reply to natdj. | April 23, 2022 at 10:32 am

      What has me pissed off is a 13-year-old grandson who thinks that his interest in girls means he is trans. He was indoctrinated with this shit in 4-6th grades. He is campaigning for hormones and maybe worse. I told him that those hormones were what they do to sexual predators.

      henrybowman in reply to natdj. | April 23, 2022 at 1:09 pm

      “besides how do you pick up “The Magic Kingdom”.

      I’d say “a tornado,” but it’s one of the few franchises they DON’T own.

    divemedic in reply to Pasadena Phil. | April 23, 2022 at 11:13 am

    As a Central Floridian, the idea that Disney would leave to go somewhere else over this is ridiculous. The cost for Disney to replace just the road network that it has built around the parks is over $200 million. There is land development, flood control, infrastructure, as well as the cost of replacing four major theme parks, another six minor theme parks, a hospital, power plant, water and sewage plant, and all 31 Disney owned resort hotels. This would also require the moving of the animals located within the zoo at Animal Kingdom, meaning that wherever the company went would have to have similar climate. It would all need to be near a major airport, and a large pool of employees.
    Even if all of that were possible, Disney would then have to fund and construct the project, which would take a decade and cost billions of dollars. The total value of the property within RCID is $13.7 billion. Moving that just isn’t happening.

      I never said they were planning to leave, just interested in how residents would feel losing one of their biggest employers. I think Disney will be shrinking as a business. They have destroyed the Disney brand and turned off their core audience. The damage is very serious and permanent. They may have to break up and rebrand their various businesses.

      With the theme parks now becoming more expensive to operate in Florida, we could very well witness shutting down some of the features. Loss of jobs are heading to Orlando for sure. Certainly, the child prostitution business is in for hard times. It’s a big industry there and it is rooted in Disney. Yep, lots of changes coming.

        MajorWood in reply to Pasadena Phil. | April 23, 2022 at 3:33 pm

        No different really than all of the big abandonned factories that litter Ohio. Things evolve and the better business people are those who build a factory with a life beyond its immediate application. But everyone who starts a business sees it as something that will last forever, and thus neither their technology nor their products evolve, and they becone dinosaurs. As I type on one, I have to give Dell credit for staying alive and at the top for so long in the puter biz.

If the left didn’t have double standards, they’d have no standards at all. They seem to have two talking points:

1) Getting rid of Reedy Creek will impost YUGE costs on the taxpayers of Orange and Osceola Counties to maintain Disney’s infrastructure.
2) Disney is being treated unfairly and will sue to regain its special treatment.

These arguments seem to be mutually exclusive. If this deal provides so much free sh!t to Disney, why wouldn’t they be celebrating and their stock price soaring?

smalltownoklahoman | April 23, 2022 at 9:42 am

And it just keeps getting better! Desantis on Tucker Carlson last night:

“A Rejection of Woke Garbage in Our Society”! Spot on perfect!

smalltownoklahoman | April 23, 2022 at 9:54 am

First they ignore you,
Then they laugh at you,
Then because you pushed when & where you really shouldn’t have, you get your legs kicked out from under you and your face ground into the dirt for being an offensive, obnoxious twit!

“Mega-Corporation’s Captive
‘Company Town” Reclaimed by ‘The People!'”
“Victory for Anti Fascism!”

There, let’s explode some Marxist brains.

Mickey got too big for his ears and needs to go sit in the corner and ask himself, “What would Walt Do?”

I am fully with DeSantis with his redistricting plan and the falsely so-called “don’t say gay” bill. I am believe that corporate wokeness in Disney is a problem and that it is a cultural war that we must fight and win. Heck, I also believe that special districts like the one Disney had shouldn’t exist.

What I think is horrible governance and government action is to specifically target a company for punishment, despite even an accusation of a crime, because they advocated for a political position you don’t like.

And no, there isn’t a manichean choice between supporting government being able to target companies for supporting what they don’t like, and supporting the company and those things it supports..

I doubt almost any person supporting this action would support a blue state from targeting a company that advocated the opposite position as Disney over pro-woke educational legislation.

If they wanted to limit the scope of these “special districts”, they could have done that in a truly general way, and that would have been good governance and good policy. Instead, they tailored the change in law in such a way that it only effected a single targeted company without specifically naming that company to get around myriad restrictions against bill of attainder level shenanigans. Plenty of states and local governments do this all the time, and it ought to be opposed because no government ought to be attacking or stripping protections of anyone under a general sounding peculiarly tailored law, rule, or regulation.

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to The Political Hat. | April 23, 2022 at 4:52 pm

    You are making the idealistic assumption that all are equal under the law and that the law will be enforced equitably regardless of who is in charge. It is idealistic, and does not reflect reality. The Left happily uses the full weight of the State against those who do not submit. With elections being a less than trustworthy reflection of the will of the people due to Leftist fraud, there is no “nice” way to avoid tyranny other than fighting back and making the enemy back off. It may not work permanently, but it is what we have now that there is no Social or Political Contract in force.

    As far as the Reedy Creek District, the only company that benefited from such a district was Disney, and it arguably made Disney part of the government of the state. Now all companies are in theory equal under the law [such as can be said today].

    Blue states already do target those who oppose them. California has a bill before its legislature right now making it a crime for any doctor or surgeon to disagree with the state on any health matter.

    Subotai Bahadur

    What other special districts are there?

      Gosport in reply to Milhouse. | April 24, 2022 at 9:31 am

      There are currently 1184 special tax districts in Florida. The majority are housing developments formed under the Florida Uniform Community Development District Act of 1980 which have morphed into Homeowners Associations, such as The Villages.

      The Villages Charter

      Disney World, or more specifically Reedy Creek, wouldn’t be the first to have their special district status dissolved by a long shot. Interestingly, neither Universal Studios or SeaWorld apparently has such protection.