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Florida Senate Passes Bill Eliminating Disney’s Self-Governing District, Special Tax Status

Florida Senate Passes Bill Eliminating Disney’s Self-Governing District, Special Tax Status

The Republican-controlled House gets the bill on Thursday.

The Florida Senate passed a bill instilling Gov. Ron DeSantis’s Congressional map but it also eliminates Disney’s special tax district allowing the company to self-govern the area that houses the theme parks.

The House will receive the bill on Thursday. Republicans also control that chamber.

The Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID) was formed in 1967. Walt Disney pushed for the formation because he did not like businesses and other places popping up near his dynasty. It encompasses the cities of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista along with unincorporated land. Landowners elect the Board of Supervisors who govern the district. The five members are senior Disney employees.

Disney employees and their immediate families reside in the cities so the population of the district is small. But the district includes “4 theme parks, 2 water parks, 1 sports complex, 175 lane miles of roadway, 67 miles of waterway, the cities of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, an environmental science laboratory where the continuity of water quality is monitored, an electric power-generating & distribution facility, a natural gas distribution system, water and wastewater collection & treatment facilities, a solid waste and recyclables collection & transfer system, plus over 40,000 hotel rooms and 100’s of restaurants and retail stores.”

The website provides details on how they govern the district. But right now the district is exempt “from a host of regulations and certain taxes and fees related to emergency services and road maintenance.”

If the bill passes the district’s jurisdiction might go to Orange County or Osceola County:

“It is difficult to estimate what a dissolution of [Reedy Creek] would cost Disney over time,” said Michael Rinaldi, head of U.S. Local Government Ratings at Fitch Ratings. It “would eliminate access to tax-exempt debt issuance via [Reedy Creek], potentially costing Disney and other landowners within the district more to finance various projects,” he added.

Disney employs nearly 80,000 people in the state, mostly at its theme parks and resorts. It is also a significant driver of the tourism industry in Orlando, Fla. According to Visit Orlando, tourism to the area contributes $5.8 billion in local and state tax revenue yearly when operating at full capacity.

It’s doubtful the dissolution will affect Orlando, the surrounding areas, and Florida in general. People will still go to Disney World even if Disney says it has to hike up prices because of the bill.


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He fights!

And the usually weak kneeling Republican RINOs are coming to the microphones saying, no, no, this is too much, you must learn to kneel, bend over and like it

You must!!!!!

    henrybowman in reply to gonzotx. | April 20, 2022 at 5:10 pm

    Finally — one Republican who understands the distinction between “being in office” and “being in power.”

      Barry in reply to henrybowman. | April 20, 2022 at 6:24 pm

      “Finally — one Republican…”

      DeSantis learned from the first “one”. 🙂

        henrybowman in reply to Barry. | April 20, 2022 at 6:39 pm

        Not sure I’d agree. Trump was in office, but I don’t believe he was ever “in power.” People from Hillary to that pissant judge in Hawaii made sure of it. When you’re “in power,” you can bulldoze past obstacles like those regardless of law, custom, or the constitution, as Biden shows us every day.

        Many of us are still not learning.

        If we take the Senate and the House and put these two rino rats in to head them, we deserve all the pain and disappointment that will be coming our way:

        A new book reveals that House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell both said they think Trump was responsible for Jan. 6
        McCarthy said he would push Trump to resign; McConnell said of the impending impeachment proceedings: ‘The Democrats are going to take care of the son of a b***h for us’:


    CommoChief in reply to gonzotx. | April 20, 2022 at 6:31 pm

    More importantly DeSantis wins the fights. That’s the whole point of a fight; to achieve victory. He does so because he does tilt at windmills. He chooses the many winnable fights that have mass popular support and then secures victory. He doesn’t waste time or resources on fighting for its own sake to be seen as a ‘fighter’ which is IMO another version of kabuki theatre the rino like so much.

The Gentle Grizzly | April 20, 2022 at 3:10 pm

The next step is to break their stranglehold on US copyright laws.

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    I don’t see evidence of a stranglehold. The Sonny Bono act extending copyrights by 20 years passed 20 years ago, and there is not even a suggestion that there should be any further extension, let alone any prospect of such a further extension passing. Steamboat Willy will enter the public domain next year, and more Disney properties will do so in the years to come, and it appears to have accepted that.

      Lucifer Morningstar in reply to Milhouse. | April 20, 2022 at 6:56 pm

      BWAHAHAHAHAHA . . . you really believe that?!?? All Disney Inc. has to do is throw some money at their favorite democrat senators and reps and copyright will be extended another twenty years for all of Walt’s early works. There’s just no way that they will allow them to become public domain. And they will keep that control by hook & crook. Guaranteed.

        And yet that is not happening. It’s already April 2022, the copyright has just 20 more months to run, and yet there is not even the slightest stir of a whisper of a suggestion of any proposal for an extension. Legislation of this magnitude doesn’t happen overnight; the ground must be prepared for it, and nobody is doing that.

        The fact is the previous extension wasn’t simply a favor for Disney; it had a reasonable excuse, that of bringing US law into line with the EU. This time what excuse would Congress offer, if it were to try extending copyrights again?

          Lucifer Morningstar in reply to Milhouse. | April 20, 2022 at 9:06 pm

          20 months. Still plenty of time for the House of Mouse to pay off their people in Washington D.C. to get an extension on the copyrights. And when did Congress ever have to give an excuse for anything they did (or did not do). They don’t. They’ll do it under the table with an amendment to some unrelated but necessary legislation and the deal will be done. Guaranteed.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | April 20, 2022 at 9:35 pm

          It’s not going to happen. On Jan 1, 2024 Steamboat Willie will enter the public domain, and not only won’t there be anything Disney can do about it, they won’t even try. How much money do they make from that cartoon anyway? Nothing. So why would they even care. In the coming decade more valuable works will become free, but again Disney won’t be able to prevent it and therefore won’t try.

          The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Milhouse. | April 21, 2022 at 8:43 am

          It will be one of those midnight bills, or be stuck as a rider on some bill naming a post office after a dead politician.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | April 21, 2022 at 10:06 am

          Care to make a wager on that? I say that on Jan-1-2024 Steamboat Willie will enter the public domain. If it does not, I will donate $50 to the LI Foundation. Who is willing to match that pledge if it does enter the public domain?

          bhwms in reply to Milhouse. | April 22, 2022 at 10:39 am

          One word: Omnibus.

        I think you’re making an erroneous conclusion: that Disney cares about Walt’s early works. Disney appears to hate its back catalog, that’s why so little of it has appeared on Blu-ray or is on Disney+. They’d prefer to erase Walt. The only reason they’d want to extend their copyright on Walt’s work is not to monetize it, but to keep it locked away forever.

      Danny in reply to Milhouse. | April 20, 2022 at 9:43 pm

      They obviously don’t care about Steamboat Willy.

      However (and this is a big deal) if they don’t fight now they will be in danger of losing actual profitable cartoons over the next couple of decades. So if they could get congressmen to draft legislation after the media stops focusing on Disney expect them to.

        Milhouse in reply to Danny. | April 20, 2022 at 11:07 pm

        If they were going to try that they would already be doing so. There was no media focus on Disney until they interfered in the current Florida situation. If they wanted copyrights extended they would be working on that and not doing anything to draw attention to themselves.

        The plain fact is that they’re not fighting now, and show no sign of any plan to fight later. So they’ve accepted this and have moved on.

I think Disney will lose 25% of their business

I wish it were more… lots more

Close The Fed | April 20, 2022 at 3:22 pm

Thrilling! All the headaches of government headed its way!

    dunce1239 in reply to Close The Fed. | April 20, 2022 at 4:28 pm

    The gay governor of Colorado criticized the super stud governor of Florida for taking on the groomers. Hopefully they pack it up and got to frozen Colorado.

Universal Studios here we come!

    Don’t…. aside from being a giant rip off (70 dollars for the stupid Harry potter wand and another 2 dollars if you want a bag), they forced all their Florida employees to be the most wretched mask Karens imaginable. I was nearly ejected from the park for trying to order a 25 dollar cheese burger…. the kid couldn’t hear me over the very loud ambient noise and mask, so I pulled it down to say “cheese burger” after the fifth back and forth. Same garbage happened at Starbux and at Universal hotel…. except that nice young black woman was very eager to put a 50 year old white male in his place and screwed up my order anyway.

    I am so done with both Disney and Universal.

      Andy in reply to Andy. | April 20, 2022 at 3:47 pm

      The SBUX was inside the hotel. The hotel had the mask stuff going as well. This was all back in Feb.

Good, maybe the stupid fascists at Disney will learn to stay in their own lane.

“It is difficult to estimate what a dissolution of [Reedy Creek] would cost Disney over time,” said Michael Rinaldi, head of U.S. Local Government Ratings at Fitch Ratings. It “would eliminate access to tax-exempt debt issuance via [Reedy Creek], potentially costing Disney and other landowners within the district more to finance various projects,” he added.”

Short answer: It’ll cost Disney billion$ in the long term. And well it should.

I’m sorry to hear Universal is such a rip off too…

To paraphrase Geoffrey Chaucer, “All good things must come to an end, including the Disney stranglehold on Florida.”

I hope an army of inspectors descends on Disney–it’s hard to imagine that all of their properties are code compliant. And I can’t wait to read Abigail Disney’s newest article on how Disney can crush the little guy

As a resident of Florida who lives about an hour or so from Disney, there is nothing but applause from many of us that Disney will be losing their “Corporate Welfare” favors from the state of Florida. It is long past time for Disney to “pay” their “fair share” like every other attraction.

Good, this is a important hill to defend

Anything granted to you by the Government can be taken away.

    Peabody in reply to snowshooze. | April 20, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    The good news is Walt Disney enjoyed the special benefits promised all during his lifetime and the lifetime of several of his descendants. Disney is gone now and what is left is but a poor imitation of what he envisioned.

Thank you Florida… as for Disney … it’s a small small world that is about to get a lot smaller and more costly.

This is a great move. Disney had previously been granted status as a “governmental subdivision” of the state.

Government entities should be there to serve all citizens equally. So as soon as they jumped into the fray to back the pedo groomers, they shot their own dick off.

Kudos to Desantis for having the stones to take the fight to the pedo groomers. And win.

If NFLX stock today is any indicator… the tide is turning hard on going “woke”

They are going broke big time.

trading at 223…. down 124 TODAY.

    henrybowman in reply to Andy. | April 21, 2022 at 2:57 am

    What a horrorshow. My broker — who I’m afraid “just doesn’t get me” — liquidated my position in Coca Cola (also not his best moment) two days ago and put it into… Disney. He’s buying the dip, under the impression that the dip is transitory. He’s usually a very good analyst in this regard, but I think this time he’s screwed the mouse.

How much is Disney going to owe in property taxes?

    Milhouse in reply to geronl. | April 20, 2022 at 9:37 pm

    Probably not much more than they’re already paying to their own private tax zone. The only difference is that it will be going to an entity they don’t control.

Best case scenario: Trump runs with DeSantis: that will give 12 years of a non-swamp presidency.

If Trump does not run and DeSantis runs and wins, that’ll give us 8 years of a non-swamp presidency.

Trump-DeSantis in 2024!

    Actually, I think DeSantis would be better off staying in Florida and being the best governor in the entire United States. When Trump’s second term is up, then DeSantis can run against whatever lame-o Trump picks as VP. DeSantis is an alpha, and there is no way he’ll want to be the beta (VP). I think it would be a horrible mistake for him to run second on any ticket. Seeing him open libraries and attend funerals for four years will do nothing to help him win the presidency. Hopefully he and his people are smart enough to know that.

Rupert Smedley Hepplewhite | April 21, 2022 at 4:27 pm

We need DeSantis for another four years. I agree with Fuzzy Slippers, watching their personalities clash would be exhausting and pointless.

Love me some Donald Trump but no, let Florida lead by example and the other states will follow.

    My hope is that DeSantis is as savvy as he seems and will see a second on a Trump (or any) ticket the dead end that it is. DeSantis can be president one day, but he has to tune out the crazies who think that being VP is the way to get there. VPs are rarely elected president because they are useless piles of crap as VPs. When it does happen (not by the actual prez being assassinated), the VP turned prez is a disappointing one-termer (see HW). DeSantis is better than all that and deserves to be president in his own right. If he accepts a VP role on any ticket, I will immediately think him unqualified for the top job.

Can all this be seen as government retaliation for Disney exercising its 1A rights?