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DeSantis Targets Walt Disney World With Special Legislative Session to Get Rid of Reedy Creek

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Governor Ron DeSantis is expanding a special session of the Florida Legislature starting today to get rid of districts that were established prior to November 1968, targeting the Reedy Creek Improvement District established around Walt Disney World Resort in 1967.

DeSantis had previously said he was “receptive” to repealing the act that created the district around Walt Disney World. He has been targeting the company’s “special privileges” ever since they took a hard stance against the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

The self-described purpose of the Reedy Creek Improvement District is “to support and administer certain aspects of the economic development and tourism within District boundaries.” The creation of the district means Walt Disney World and other landowners pay for local essential services like water, electricity, fire protection, and emergency medical services instead of taxpayers. 

DeSantis said, “I am announcing today that we are expanding the call of what they are going to be considering this week. And so yes, they will be considering their congressional map. But they also will be considering termination of all special districts that were enacted in Florida prior to 1968. And that includes the Reedy Creek Improvement District.” The proposed action “Dissolves certain independent special districts; authorizes reestablishment of certain independent special districts.”

DeSantis made the announcement in The Villages, which has 17 special districts, all established after 1968.

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He thanked House Speaker Chris Sprowls and Senate President Wilton Simpson for “stepping up and making sure that we make the sunset or the termination on those special districts happen, which I think is very important.”

DeSantis also said he would seek to remove the carve-out Disney received from the Legislature for the “Big Tech” law, which would allow people to sue social media companies if they are censored. The law has been blocked by a federal judge.

The bill can be found here.

Source: Orlando Sentinel and Tampa Bay 10

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  1. I wonder, if Reedy Creek is obliterated, would that also have a positive or negative effect on Disney Vacation Club? I have also noticed that the proposed bill does not affect The Villages special districts as they were incorporated after 1968! I wish that WALT DISNEY WORLD could pack up everything…I mean EVERYTHING and leave Florida! Florida’s tourism, real estate and economy derives a tremendous benefit by having WDW there! So, if WDW no longer benefits, there is no longer a reason to remain in Florida! Bye bye!

  2. Wow, all of this because Disney disagreed with his law. He should be very careful to poke an angry bear. I expect this issue to go to a high court should the legislation overturn the district.

  3. This really seems like he wants more government rather than less and wants government involvement in “free market”. That seems to be the opposite of his claimed political ideology.

  4. Why would any business make a deal with Florida if they do this? The state got the benefits they wanted (increased employment, tourism and tax revenue) and now they are going to pull the rug out because of the company’s position on a bill? Not to mention that Disney has invested millions in creating their own water, power, roads, fire and police departments based on this agreement. Is the state going to reimburse them for all those expenses that would have been covered by taxpayers? And what about continuing improvements that will be needed as WDW inevitably grows? Reedy Creek was created because it was (and remains) a good deal for everyone and it shameful that they would punish a company for taking a position on legislation that directly affects their employees – it doesn’t matter what that legislation is or how you feel about it. This is a TERRIBLE precedent and bad governance.

  5. Okay this is getting out of hand. Someone had to send a letter to one of these sides to stop them from doing it.

  6. The one thing here that is continuously ignored…as of now, in the Reedy Creek Improvement District, Disney pays for “all local essential services like water, electricity, fire protection, and emergency medical services instead of taxpayers.” If this repeal were to happen, do you know who would take the hit? Taxpayers. Taxpayers would have to pay for all of Disney’s services instead of Disney paying for it themselves. So, seriously, the general taxpayer would be impacted by this, and it would (seriously) save Disney a bit of money. It’s not like they don’t own the land already — they would still have control over that, just not the local essential services.

  7. So tired of politicians doing whatever they can just to advance their own agendas and not caring at all for the mess they leave behind or the people they hurt. This is all publicity for the DeSantis presidential campaign. By now he feels he is invincible. As Jeremy said – he is poking an angry bear, and Rob suggested no other business would invest in Florida if they see they can fall out of favor with the governor and become a target for one of his egotistical vendettas. Shame on Florida.

  8. The RCID is not really applicable anymore. It was established for logistical purposes but those no longer serve a purpose. Why not remove it at this point? It will have no effect on what the Guest sees at WDW, just the fact that Disney can no longer build WHATEVER they want WHENEVER they want. Welcome to real world.

  9. The District serves (from their website) fire protection, emergency medical services, potable water production, treatment, storage, pumping & distribution, reclaimed water distribution, chilled and hot water systems, wastewater services, drainage and flood control, electric power generation & distribution, and solid waste and recyclables collection & disposal. So Florida can take all of that on? Disney has been doing it for 50+ years. Very odd

  10. I’m just going to be honest. I am republican. I approve of most things Desantis has done. But this I do not approve of. Not at all. Why get rid of something that technically saves the state(tax payers) money?? Seems like he is just trying to bully Disney for not agreeing with him. Smh

  11. Dylan, 100 percent agree with you on this. He is being a big cry baby about this issue with Disney. Disbanding this would cost Floridians

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