On Friday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed into law a bill that eliminates a special taxing district that has allowed Walt Disney Co. to govern the land where the Disney World theme park is located.
“I’m just not comfortable having that type of agenda get special treatment in my state,” DeSantis explained.
“The special district, created in 1967 and known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District, exempts Disney from a host of regulations and certain taxes and fees related to emergency services and road maintenance,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “It saves Disney tens of millions of dollars a year, according to a person familiar with the company’s finances who studied the issue over a decade ago.”
“The legislation affects a half-dozen districts across the state, but only Reedy Creek involves a high-profile company, according to Republican Rep. Randy Fine, the bill’s sponsor. Disney could seek to re-establish a special district after the Reedy Creek district’s dissolution,” The Wall Street Journal added.
DeSantis, who had called on lawmakers to consider a bill like this earlier this week, has explained that he does not support the special privileges on principle.
“What I would say as a matter of first principle is I don’t support special privileges in law just because a company is powerful and they’ve been able to wield a lot of power,” DeSantis said last month. “I think what has happened is there’s a lot of these special privileges that are not justifiable, but because Disney had held so much sway, they were able to sustain a lot of special treatment over the years.”
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