After more than half a century, the legislative borders of Walt’s Magic Kingdom are coming down.
On Friday, April 22, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that terminated special state districts created before 1968, most notably including Walt Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District.
According to the Associated Press,
“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed a bill to dissolve Walt Disney World’s private government,..The law would eliminate the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as the 55-year-old Disney government is known, as well as a handful of other similar districts by June 2023. The measure does allow for the districts to be reestablished, leaving an avenue to renegotiate its future.”
Brought forward during an extended special session of congress, the bill first passed in the Senate with a vote of 23-16 and then passed in the House of Representatives with a vote of 70-38. Gov. DeSantis previously suggested that he would sign the bill if passed by both houses in Tallahassee.
The apparent goal of the Sunshine State’s legislature is to crack down on “far-left Hollywood’s” influence on State politics, with Disney’s overt declaration of revolt against Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education” law being as Gov. DeSantis said, “what crossed the line.” That piece of Florida legislation barred on all sexual topics from orientation to gender identity in from kindergarten through third grade.
The voiding of The Reedy Creek Improvement Act of 1967 is part of a push to remove special corporate privileges that put them outside of the law observed by everyday Floridians.
It should be noted, though, that while Disney was able to be exempt from certain taxes and red tape when it came to things like construction, they also had to cover the costs of every aspect of the District’s infrastructure as the sole resident. While the district is home to two cities, and , they exist in all but name only, leaving Disney with the taxes and then the budget of the overall area. Questions now linger over how to transition payment of that maintenance. More light is expected to be shed in the coming months on how the RCID’s dissolvent will affect the taxpaying citizens of Orange and Osceola Counties.
According to Spectrum News 13, Gov. DeSantis addressed such concerns saying, “They (Reedy Creek) do have services, utilities. We’re going to take care of that. Don’t worry. We have everything all thought out. Don’t let anyone tell you that Disney is going to get a tax cut out of this. They are going to pay more taxes because of this.”
We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on Disney news as more information comes to light.