As Florida Governor DeSantis touts his conquest over Walt Disney World, other sources point out that very little has changed.
By now, it’s old news that Gov. Ron DeSantis and Central Florida’s Walt Disney World have been locked in a legal battle over the Reedy Creek Improvement District (which gives the Walt Disney Company virtually complete control of its massive property).
It’s also old news that this debacle started after the Walt Disney Company denounced the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill after having previously backed it. Once the Walt Disney Company came under fire from fans, it switched gears, which caused DeSantis to retaliate.
In an attempt to stick it to the Walt Disney Company, Gov. DeSantis has signed a bill that would effectively eradicate Walt Disney World’s status as a special tax district. If done correctly, this would hypothetically end the special tax breaks that the Walt Disney Company has been receiving for over 50 years.
That being said, what Gov. DeSantis has done hasn’t actually taken away those tax breaks.
As it turns out, destroying Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District would only create a financial burden on the local taxpayers, who would have to spend more as a result of Disney’s massive costs, as well as its colossal debt.
So instead of creating an even bigger mess, Florida lawmakers have passed a new bill that gives the Governor the privilege of choosing who makes up Disney’s tax district board instead of entirely taking away that tax district as he had initially planned. This leaves each and every one of those special tax breaks in place for Disney to enjoy.
A report by USA Today calls DeSantis’s triumph a “fake victory” and writes:
The bill’s sponsor in the House, Republican Rep. Fred Hawkins, was asked how it changes anything happening in the district and said: “That I can’t answer.”
So, Florida residents who are close to Walt Disney World can rest easy, as the financial burden will not fall on your shoulders anytime soon.