Florida Governor DeSantis Claims He Has a Plan Regarding Dissolution of Reedy Creek Improvement District

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says, “we know what we are going to do” regarding the many questions surrounding the possible dissolution of Walt Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District.

Orlando Business Journal shared some of Desantis’ statements from “The Ingraham Angle Town Hall” on Fox News.

“There’s going to be additional legislative action,” DeSantis said. “We’ve contemplated that … we know what we are going to do, so stay tuned — that’ll all be apparent.” He did not share any specifics.

DeSantis signed the bill to dissolve Reedy Creek and other special districts a week ago. It would go into effect on June 1, 2023, shifting many of the district’s responsibilities to Orange and Osceola counties. Many have questioned exactly what the dissolution would mean for the counties and the state as a whole.

DeSantis stated that Disney will continue to pay for services such as police and the fire department instead of transferring those to the local counties.

DeSantis also addressed the more than $900 million in bonds held by investors, stating, “The bonds will be paid by Disney, they will be paying taxes — probably more taxes. They will follow the laws that every other person has to do, and they will no longer have the ability to run their own government.”

Government law expert and attorney Jacob Schumer told OBJ that legal precedence shows bondholders must be compensated for their investments if a law harms the rights of their bonds. If no compensation is made, the law could be reversed.

“So why can’t the state of Florida cut a $1 billion check to bondholders?” Schumer said. “Maybe in a new law they can, but in the existing law, they haven’t described how they will pay them. You can’t take people’s property without compensation, and the property here was bondholders’ contract rights.”

Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph says the county currently collects over $600 million in general revenue from property taxes. If the costs of running Reedy Creek Improvement District were transferred to the county, they would be taking on another $163 million, leading to a 20% tax increase.

DeSantis, who began attacking Disney after they opposed the Parental Rights in Education, a.k.a. “Don’t Say Gay” bill, states that this is about Disney being treated the same as every other company. “It simply ends with them [Disney] being treated the same as every other company in Florida,” he said.

Read more about what could happen if Reedy Creek Improvement District is dissolved.

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  1. “We know what we are going to do, so stay tuned…”

    Translation:
    We have no plan because we rammed this through without thinking about the bigger picture.

  2. “DeSantis stated that Disney will continue to pay for services such as police and the fire department instead of transferring those to the local counties.” Looks like taxpayers may not have much to worry about after all. Disney is going to pay, on many levels, in this deal. Love or hate DeSantis, you have to admit he certainly has a way of holding Disney accountable. It’s about time somebody did.

  3. If they knew what they were going to do, they would have made it part of the original bill.

    This is incompetence.

    If Disney will pay taxes like everyone else in Florida, does it mean DeSantis will take away the Villages and the other 1800+ special business taxing districts to put them on even playing field?
    Or are Disney, Daytona raceway, and others impacted by this bill now to be treated worse than the Villages?

  4. to be honest, chapek really stepped in a pile when he said he was working behind the scenes with legislators about the parental rights in education act. he inferred disney had bought some of them by contributions and they needed to do as disney says. just my own observance of this entire fiasco.

  5. Spoiler: He doesn’t have a plan. Like every other action this fool takes, it was ill-planned and misconceived and will cost Florida in the long term. Can’t wait for this guy to be voted out.

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