Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said that a bill is currently in the works that would give the state control over Reedy Creek, the special tax district originally created to assist with the initial development of Walt Disney World more than 50 years ago.
According to a report from the Orlando Sentinel, said DeSantis expects a special session next week on Reedy Creek and other items.
The decision by state representative Randy Fine to review Reedy Creek's district was considered by many Democrats to be an act of retribution in the wake of Disney’s condemnation of an education bill which was mischaracterized by opponents and former Disney CEO Bob Chapek as the ‘Don’t say gay bill’, despite the fact that the bill didn't ban use of the word gay or homosexuality by students or teachers, but instructed kindergarten through third-grade teachers not to include formal teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity.
To date, Disney pays all of the bills for its law enforcement, Reedy Creek Fire Services, and its 911 call center.
Last year, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, one of the state's most prominent Democrats, insisted that stripping Reedy Creek of its self-governing status would be “catastrophic” for the county’s taxpayers. DeSantis has responded to such claims from Florida Democrats by saying that any new agreement on the district won't raise local taxes. He also said that legislators will make sure that there are no special legal privileges and that Disney pays its fair share of taxes and paying the debt.
“We’re not going to have a corporation controlling its own government,” DeSantis said at a news conference in Tallahassee. “That’s going to be reverted to the state. I’d rather it be the local [governments], but I don’t think that they’re prepared for it. So the state is going to have a board to run it."
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