Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law on Friday that terminates all special districts that were enacted in Florida prior to 1968, including Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District. The new law will remove Disney’s tax privilege and special governing status.
The Reedy Creek Improvement District, which was created by state lawmakers in 1967, is the governing jurisdiction and special taxing district for the land of Walt Disney World Resort.
Rep. Randy Fine filed HB3C on Tuesday to end six of 1,844 special districts, including the Reedy Creek Improvement District.
The Florida Senate passed legislation on Wednesday to end Disney’s special tax privilege and self-governing status on a 23-16 vote.
On Thursday, the Florida House voted 68-38 in favor to strip Disney’s self-government.
Lefty protesters screeched like demons as lawmakers voted to pass the legislation.
CHAOS IN TALLAHASSEE: Activists SCREAMING during FL session to approve legislation to strip Disney of special privileges, Speaker Sprowls forced to adjourn pic.twitter.com/eUmvIKgkv4
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) April 21, 2022
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis fulfilled his request to remove Disney’s tax privilege and self-governing power. The new law will formally take effect on June 1, 2023.
BREAKING: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signs bill eliminating Disney’s self-governance status into law in retaliation for Disney’s criticism of the Don’t Say Gay law.
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) April 22, 2022
Click Orlando reported:
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that eliminates special districts created before 1968, including Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District.
The governor signed several bills during a ceremony at a South Florida charter school Friday afternoon, including the special districts bill introduced by Rep. Randy Fine. The Reedy Creek Improvement District — created by state lawmakers in 1967 — acts as Walt Disney World’s own government with two cities and land in Orange and Osceola counties.
DeSantis commented on Disney’s action during Friday’s news conference and said if “none of that had happened, this is the right thing to do,” calling Disney’s government “unlike anything else that we know in the state of Florida.”
“No individual or no company in Florida is treated this way, and it’s not right to have this similar treatment. But you know, they had exercised a lot of power over the years. It was never anything that was debated. In fact, I don’t even know that I knew the name of it prior to this becoming something that was live in the past few months,” he said.
According to the wording of the bill, it will dissolve “any independent special district established by a special act prior to the date of ratification of the Florida Constitution on November 5, 1968 and which was not reestablished, re-ratified, or otherwise reconstituted by a special act or general law after November 5, 1968.”
Although details are far from clear, the proposal could have huge tax implications for Disney.
Disney stock is now down 14% in the last month and 23% since January.
And Fitch Ratings put Disney on a negative rating watch earlier today.
Fitch Ratings announces after Fl Leg passed Disney bill it has placed Reedy Creek Improvement District on negative rating watch – meaning it could downgrade their rating, which could translate to higher borrowing costs in future.
— Gary Fineout (@fineout) April 22, 2022
Disney stock is back to 2017 levels. Its down about 35% over the past year. Fitch downgraded their debt today. Management wants to die on the hill of grooming 5-8 year olds.
Walt must be rolling in his grave over what they’ve done to his company. pic.twitter.com/lOCg8tiiZA
— Rogue1-the Jeff Faria Project (@PatriotsOfMars) April 22, 2022