DeSantis exposes insane Disney deal as he prepares to yank the keys from the kingdom

Florida is turning up the heat on Disney and America’s Governor may soon hold the keys to the Magic Kingdom thanks to a newly proposed bill that would leave the House of Mouse on the hook for $700 million in debt.

In 2022, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) took the culture war directly to the Walt Disney Company for stepping away from the business of making family-friendly entertainment to promoting progressive ideology after they took a side on the Parental Rights in Education bill meant to keep education age appropriate. The decision to get political led the state to review the self-governing tax district that had been carved out in Orlando for Walt Disney World in 1967, and now those protections and powers are on the chopping block.

Jeremy Redfern, deputy press secretary to DeSantis, said in a statement, “Florida is dissolving the Corporate Kingdom and beginning a new ear of accountability and transparency. These actions ensure a state-controlled district accountable to the people instead of a corporate-controlled kingdom.”

On social media, he released a rundown of the powers that Disney would be stripped of should the legislation, introduced by state Rep. Fred Hawkins (R) Monday, go through that would turn the Reedy Creek Improvement District into the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District and leave the governor in charge of appointing the five members of the board to oversee the roughly 40 square miles of Florida.

Instead of maintaining Disney’s current ability to operate as its own government within Florida, reshaping its own boundary to expand the district through eminent domain if it so wishes, and remaining exempt from regulatory review, they would now be treated no different from any other company in the state and be required to pay any taxes lawfully imposed upon them.

Furthermore, as Reedy Creek had possessed the ability to issue bonds, a matter which was factored in when DeSantis acted to dissolve the district last year, the new bill ensures that Disney will have to foot the bill for more than $700 million in debt rather than the taxpayers of Florida and also protects local residents from being hit with a tax raise from their county government seeking to capitalize on the transition in control.

In reaction to the bill currently being reviewed by the State Affairs Committee, Walt Disney World president Jeff Vahle released his own statement that said, “We are monitoring the progression of the draft legislation, which is complex given the long history of the Reedy Creek Improvement District. Disney works under a number of different models and jurisdictions around the world, and regardless of the outcome, we remain committed to providing the highest quality experience for the millions of guests who visit each year.”

Republished with permission from American Wire News Service


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