It has been a few months since Florida’s state government made the decision to dissolve Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, and a second lawsuit against the matter has already been filed, and Tallahassee wants it dismissed.
According to the Orlando Business Journal,
The state on Aug. 19 filed for a motion to dismiss a case originally filed in May in Miami-Dade County by Osceola County residents Michael, Leslie and Eduardo Foronda, and Orange County resident Vivian Gonzalez over the alleged possible tax increase implications that could occur if the Reedy Creek district — and its nearly $1 billion bond obligations — were to fall on local taxpayer shoulders.
In the motion, representatives of the state government led by Governor Ron DeSantis said, in part, “Plaintiffs have no legal right to prohibit the State of Florida from dissolving governmental entities created by state law.”
They also argued that the suit is “replete with defects” and is “based solely on speculative injuries that are completely disconnected from any cause of action.”
We at Disney Fanatic previously covered another similar case in which a federal judge quickly dismissed without outside request. Put forward by three Orange County residents over the speculation surrounding taxes, U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia Altonaga said the plaintiffs “do not plausibly allege they have suffered any concrete injury as a result of the alleged violation of Disney’s First Amendment rights, and nothing in the Complaint shows Plaintiffs have a close relationship with Disney.” Click the link below for our previous coverage.
Florida’s state government passed a law that dissolved the remaining special districts in existence that had not amended themselves to fit under the state’s ratified constitution in 1968. The Reedy Creek Improvement District happened to be one of them. The request to add their dissolving to a pre-existing matter over state districts was made by elected state representatives in the wake of a flaring culture war between the Southern California-based corporation and The Sunshine State, which was sparked over the passing of the Parental Rights in Education Bill.
It should be noted that the dissolving legislation does not go into effect until Summer 2023 and allows for the special districts to reorganize themselves to lawfully fit subserviently to Florida’s State Consitution and reapply.
Now, the lingering concern is over Reedy Creek’s massive tax burden and estimated $1 billion debt bond. If the law were to go into effect today, it is believed that these costs would fall on the residents of Orange and Osceola County. This new lawsuit in question argues that the legislation infringes upon the due process of the taxpayers even though no such tax increases have been levied.
State representatives stated, “Yet, no tax increase related to SB 4-C has been proposed or imposed on plaintiffs. Their complaint utterly fails to identify sufficient ultimate facts showing how the potential dissolution of the Reedy Creek Improvement District pursuant to state law — assuming such dissolution were to occur — could plausibly infringe on their rights as taxpayers.”
Governor DeSantis has repeated multiple times that the financial burden will remain with The Walt Disney Company, suggesting that new legislation protecting Central Florida’s residents will be passed in time.
He said, “They are Reedy Creek. It’s a fiction. They are paying money to run their operations … they will continue paying money to run their operations, and that will be true if the state is in charge of a district, if it’s dissolved to the locals, it doesn’t matter. That is going to continue to happen.”
We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on Disney-related news and stories as more developments come to light.