Governor DeSantis announced this morning that his special session of the Florida legislature will include the termination of a special district granted to Walt Disney in the state back in 1967.
First, here’s the video:
In addition to congressional reapportionment, this week's special session will include termination of legacy special districts and removal of exemptions from the big tech accountability law. pic.twitter.com/67sF4E113I
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 19, 2022
Rep. Randy Fine is the one who is filling the bill to end this special district:
BREAKING: Disney is a guest in Florida. Today, we remind them. @GovDeSantis just expanded the Special Session so I could file HB3C which eliminates Reedy Creek Improvement District, a 50 yr-old special statute that makes Disney to exempt from laws faced by regular Floridians.
— Rep. Randy Fine (@VoteRandyFine) April 19, 2022
This special district, which allows Disney to act as a county government over their territory, was enacted by a law called “the Reedy Creek Improvement Act” and it was used by Disney to build and sustain their Disney World empire.
Here’s more on the Reedy Creek Improvement Act from Fox Business:
The Reedy Creek Improvement Act was signed into law in May 1967 by Gov. Claude Kirk in response to lobbying efforts by Disney. The entertainment giant proposed building a recreation-oriented development on 25,000 acres of property in a remote area of Central Florida’s Orange and Osceola counties, which consisted of 38.5 square miles of largely uninhabited pasture and swamp land.
Orange and Osceola County did not have the services or resources needed to bring the project to life, so the state legislature worked with Disney to establish the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special taxing district that allows the company to act with the same authority and responsibility as a county government.
The district covers Disney’s four Florida theme parks, two water parks and one sports complex, 175 lane miles of roadway, 67 miles of waterway, the cities of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, an environmental science laboratory, an electric power-generating and distribution facility, a natural gas distribution system, water and wastewater collection and treatment facilities, a solid waste and recyclables collection & transfer system and over 40,000 hotel rooms and hundreds of restaurants and retail stores.
Under the legislation, RCID has the ability to levy taxes, write building codes, develop and maintain its own infrastructure and build whatever it wants, including an airport or nuclear power plant. The landowners within the RCID, primarily Walt Disney World, are solely responsible for paying the cost of providing typical municipal services such as power, water, roads and fire protection, taking the burden off of Orange and Osceola County taxpayers.
The RCID receives income from taxes and fees imposed within its boundaries. For 2022, the RCID has an operating budget of more than $169 million, with roughly $164 million of that total coming from ad valorem taxes.
DeSantis pointed out earlier this month on Fox News that he’s never agreed with Disney having this special privilege that no other company has in the state of Florida because he believes all businesses should be treated the same.
He also noted that six months ago the legislature would have never even considered repealing this law, but in the wake of how woke Disney has become the legislature is now ready to end this special district and be done with it once and for all: