On Wednesday, the Florida Senate passed a bill to abolish the “Reedy Creed Improvement District.” This “improvement district” was created to benefit the Disney corporation in 1967. Today, the Florida House of Representatives passed the bill and sent it to Governor Ron DeSantis for signature.
The bill passed by the legislature on Thursday would eliminate the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as the 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. It now moves to DeSantis’ office to be signed into law.
Democrats have criticized the proposal as clear retaliation against the company and warned that local homeowners could get hit with big tax bills if they have to absorb bond debt from Disney — although such details are far from clear.
Disney is one of Florida’s biggest private employers, last year saying it had more than 60,000 workers in the state. It is not immediately clear how the company or local governments around its properties would be affected if the district was dissolved.
The creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, and the control it gave Disney over 27,000 acres (11,000 hectares) in Florida, was a crucial element in the company’s plans to build near Orlando in the 1960s. Company officials said they needed autonomy to plan a futuristic city along with the theme park. The city never materialized, however; instead, it morphed into the Epcot theme park.
Wait to the end to hear the shrieking.
BREAKING: The Florida House has voted to revoke Disney's special governing status as Democrats in the chamber throw a literal temper tantrum.
It's heading to DeSantis' desk pic.twitter.com/h8bFwzg1r2
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) April 21, 2022
This is a battle that didn’t need to happen, but Governor DeSantis did the right thing by winning big once it did.
BREAKING: Crowd chants “GROOMING IS WRONG” as the protests outside of Disney continues. #Disney pic.twitter.com/8Xm29041G4
— Emri Moore (@emrimooretv) April 14, 2022
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