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Governor DeSantis Wants State of Florida to Take Over Reedy Creek Improvement District Rather Than Local Governments

Governor Ron DeSantis has stated that he intends for the State of Florida to take control of the Reedy Creek Improvement District rather than the local governments, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

DeSantis recently signed a law that will lead to the dissolution of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which is currently run by Walt Disney World. It is set to dissolve on June 1, 2023.

The Governor is creating a proposal for the state’s takeover of the district that he expects to present to the Legislature after the November elections. DeSantis is up for reelection this fall.

“I’d much rather have the state leading that effort than potentially having local government… I’m worried that they would use that as a pretext to raise taxes on people when that’s what they would want to do anyways and then try to blame Reedy Creek,” DeSantis said regarding his proposal.

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He refers to the nearly $2 billion debt that Reedy Creek currently has, which state law would pass onto local government including Orange and Osceola counties. Concern has been expressed that the citizens would pay Disney’s debts through taxes, but DeSantis insists that the debt will stay with Disney.

A federal judge recently dismissed a case from Osceola county taxpayers in regards to the dissolution.

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  1. Only 33 percent of those polled had a positive opinion of Disney. That number used to consistently be in the 70s and 80s.

    Please Disney management. Focus on providing excellent products and services for customers and stay out of social politics.

  2. Either way, the debt stays with Disney, local taxpayers won’t have to bear any tax burden, and Disney now must operate like any other business without their special privileges. Sounds like a win for all, except Disney, but again they did this to themselves in deciding to interfere with state politics.

    1. Don’t know what your legal qualifications are, but all legal opinions I’ve read states that the outstanding Reedy Creek debts have to be retired before control of the district can be transferred. They will no longer be Disney’s.

      As for ‘staying out of politics’, all Disney did was exercise their constitutional right to free speech. All corporations do this, all the time. Consider the FL utility companies unsuccessful campaign to kill net metering and the solar industry. If you or anyone else disagrees with what a corporation expresses, you are free not to patronize that corporation.

      I’m not sure I would have liked the deal negotiated between Disney and FL when Reedy Creek was created. But if you are seeking to reverse that relationship, it should be for reasons other than what prompted De Santis to go on the warpath. Using government power to attack people or corporations who express a different view seems to me a much greater threat to our democracy than whatever Disney has done.

  3. I noticed that in an NBC poll that came out a few days ago, Disney went from 77% favorability to 33% and is now +3 (disapproval is 30%). They are statistically tied with DeSantis in that poll. Wonder what caused the crash in popularity…..

  4. Funny. Still nothing about those tax cuts he’s giving Disney.
    Not a peep. How strange…

    1. Just surf the web- plenty of stories about the change in focus from customer satisfaction to profits. From adding new charges (fast pass, individual ride surcharges for shortened lines), eliminating perks (free airport transportation to Disney resorts), general price increases, premium experiences affordable on to the 1% ($7k for a 2 night stay family of 4 stay at the new Star Wars hotel), it has turned a Disney visit into a planning and logistical exercise that feels less and less like a vacation.

      One can understand how much Disney needs to recoup losses from the early covid years, but they’re using up a lot of good will that will hurt them in the long run.

      Right now, they must be raking it in, based on crowd levels. But eventually the pent up travel demand will be satisfied, or the predicted economic downturn will arrive.

  5. This is the governor trying to get out of buying out of that 2 billion dollar debt he is legally required to do on the basis of the contract that Disney and the State have from the 60s. It’s worth looking into how this special district differs from others. He does not want to take on that debt but has a legal requirement to.

  6. He’s very much responsible for tax payers new burden of $2 Billion…. Why do you think they would hold such a large sum of debt. When Disney opened Orlando didn’t have anything and that made Disney responsible for everything hence the self governing it wasn’t a slide of hand but a sheer necessity to provide the level of service needed. I wonder what law firm is getting all the billing’s. Probably someone who is a friend of desantis he is a lawyer by trade if im not mistaken.

  7. I completely disagree with DeSantis and I truly hope and pray that Justice is done. We need Disney in Orlando and hopefully all this does not push them away

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