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Lawsuit Refiled Against Governor DeSantis Over Dissolution of Reedy Creek Improvement District

The lawsuit previously filed against Governor Ron DeSantis over the dissolution of Reedy Creek Improvement District has been refiled after a federal judge dismissed it, Orlando Business Journal reports.

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

The lawsuit was refiled on May 16 with the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court in Miami-Dade county.

Osceola County residents Michael, Leslie, and Eduardo Foronda and Orange County resident Vivian Gonzalez allege that taxpayer rights have been violated by the law. It also names Florida Department of Revenue Executive Director Jim Zingale and former Florida Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee as defendants. Attorney William J. Sanchez is representing the case.

The complaint says, “Plaintiffs ask for the opportunity to be heard since their rights are clearly being violated, and ask for the court to issue a declaratory judgment.”

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Experts have estimated Disney’s bond debt to be between $1 billion and $2 billion, which could be transferred to residents of the local counties. This could increase property taxes by up to $2,200. The counties would also take over responsibilities for many of Reedy Creek Improvement District’s municipal responsibilities.

“We truly believe we are on firm footing before the state court,” Sanchez told OBJ. “The federal court judge viewed the case more through the prism of the First Amendment argument which is Disney’s to make. Although there is case law which also gives third parties rights to raise another party’s First Amendment rights, we chose to not appeal the federal judge’s decision. We believe our Florida taxpayer rights are going to receive greater protection in state court.”

The lawsuit seeks that the initial bill be held unlawful and set aside, an injunction from the bill’s enforcement, to provide the plaintiffs right to be involved in any proceedings regarding any tax assessments related to the dissolution of Reedy Creek, and more.

Governor DeSantis stated earlier this month that he intends for the state to take over Reedy Creek Improvement District. He 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.

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  1. Does it actually matter if they have an objectively solid case or not in the current climate? There *are* no checks and balances in Florida government anymore, as long as DeSantis is “projecting strength” to score a “win” for the Party in whatever battleground he’s wandered into. Use the legislature to punish critics? Sure. Suspend the right to assembly? Why not. Resurrect the SDF for private use? No problem. It’s not a stretch to imagine that converting Reedy Creek to State control so they can REALLY begin to punish Disney can’t happen.

  2. What a trash politician. Florida will be a better place when he is gone.

  3. This lawsuit is just as frivolous as the last. Reedy Creek was a special tax zone so when it is eliminated, no one outside that district is liable for any of its debt that was taken on for improvements or services. Those debts will be reestablished and applied to the original district. There is presidencies for this, this is not the first time a tax district as been dissolved.

    The only people who would have any standing to sue for any reason would be those living inside the district but Disney does not want to go to court because then EVERYTHING gets investigated and put to the public domain.

    Stupid people with their stupid law suites.

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