This move could have significant tax implications for Disney. Their series of theme parks has transformed Orlando into one the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It also serves to further derail the relationship between the Republican-led state government and a key political player.
DeSantis' attack on Disney is the latest salvo in his culture war over policies like race, gender, and the coronavirus. These battles have made him one of the most beloved GOP politicians in America and a likely 2024 presidential candidate.
Disney is in dispute over the company's criticisms of a new law that prohibits instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade. It also prohibits instruction that isn't "age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate."
In March, Disney stated that it would suspend political contributions in the state. It also said that it would support groups working against the new law. DeSantis and his fellow Republicans slammed Disney and then defended the law as reasonable.
DeSantis stated Wednesday that "Disney, and other woke corporations will not get away with peddling unchecked pressure campaign," in a fundraising pitch. We must stand together now if we are to hold the Democrat machine accountable and their corporate lapdogs responsible.
The legislature passed the bill on Thursday to eliminate the Reedy Creek Improvement District. It also would allow for the elimination of a few other similar districts before June 2023. It allows the districts to be restored, and gives an opportunity to renegotiate their future. Now, it is headed to DeSantis' offices to be signed into legislation.
Democrats have criticised the proposal as clear retaliation to the company. They also warned that local homeowners could be hit with large tax bills if the bond debt is absorbed by Disney. However, such details are not clear.
Disney is Florida's largest private employer. Last year, it reported that the company employed more than 60,000 people in Florida. It is unclear how the dissolution of the district would affect the company and local governments that surround its properties.
The Reedy Creek Improvement District was created and Disney gained control over more than 27,000 acres (11,000 ha) in Florida. This was an important element of Disney's 1960s plans to build near Orlando. Officials from the company stated that they needed to be able to design a futuristic city alongside the theme park. However, the city did not materialize. Instead, Epcot became the Epcot theme parks.