Residents of Osceola County Suing Governor DeSantis Over Dissolution of Reedy Creek Improvement District

Osceola County residents have filed a complaint in Florida federal court claiming that, by signing the law to dissolve special tax districts including Reedy Creek Improvement District, Governor Ron DeSantis has violated their rights.

The Florida legislature passed the law after The Walt Disney Company opposed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District would not be dissolved until June 1, 2023, but its dissolution could have major effects on Orange and Osceola counties.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the residents in Osceola County who filed the lawsuit argue that they and other taxpayers will have to shoulder Disney’s $1 billion in bond debt if Reedy Creek is dissolved.

“It is without question that Defendant Governor DeSantis intended to punish Disney for a 1st Amendment protected ground of free speech,” the lawsuit states. “Defendant’s violation of Disney’s 1st Amendment rights directly resulted in a violation of Plaintiffs’ 14th Amendment rights to due process of law.”

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

“Stripping Disney of this special district designation will move these major regulatory burdens unto the county,” the lawsuit states, “thereby increasing the Plaintiff’s taxes, and will cause significant injury to plaintiffs.”

The lawsuit also states that the Florida Supreme Court has historically allowed taxpayers to challenge “threatened wrongful proceedings” and claims that under Florida law, groups that aren’t technically parties in a contract can sue to enforce it when a breach can injure them.

The lawsuit also says Florida lawmakers are “threatening to take thousands of jobs” from the state.

Neither Disney nor the office of Governor DeSantis responded to The Hollywood Reporter’s request for comment.

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  1. Things are getting more confusing. I mean all three sides have their points. I can’t decide which one to take. Maybe they can all just sit down and have some tea over it.

  2. Good. Desantis should pay for his shenanigans that are costing Florida taxpayers more just so he can stick it to the libs. What a terrible governor.

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