Florida adopts bill to strip Disney of privileged tax district status

(Image courtesty Unsplash)
(Image courtesy Unsplash)

Florida has decided to strip Disney of its privileged tax district status, adopting a bill to do just that which now needs only the signature of Gov. Ron DeSantis, who originally requested the change.

The Daily Mail revealed the Florida House supported the plan 68-38 a day after the state Senate adopted it 23-16.

The change could take effect as early as June. 1, 2023.

The company has been benefiting from its status as a special improvement district since it was set up decades ago. The status allows the company to control its own operations and development almost exclusively.

The change will be significant, as Disney no longer will be given the privilege of acting as its own government.

The new plan shreds a 55-year-old deal which gave Disney corporate officials the authority to regulate land, enforce building codes and treat wastewater, and according to the Daily Mail, “could cost the company millions in lost local taxes.”

The bill calls for the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as the Disney government is known, to be eliminated by June 2023.

The creation of the district back in the 1960s was key to the company’s decision to develop its 27,000 acres. At the time, Disney claimed it needed complete autonomy to plan a “futuristic city” which never materialized.

Once dissolved, local taxpayers in the two counties where the company occupies property would be responsible for services Disney now provides to itself. But those counties also would be the beneficiaries of the taxes assessed on the properties.

The Daily Mail said experts cited the control Disney exercised as the biggest benefit.

“They’d rather have it their way, where they can do things for themselves, rather than have to depend upon government,” explained Richard Foglesong, author of a book about Disney.

The action by the state was in response to the company’s interference in state matters. Lawmakers there adopted a law preventing teachers of students in kindergarten through grade three from indoctrinating them with transgender ideologies.

The company publicly opposed it and claimed its goal was to overturn the law.

WND reported when the Senate adopted the plan that the change would mean that Disney also would come under the authority of the various county regulatory agencies, such as the building and health codes.

Disney’s Latoya Raveneau, as seen in a leaked video, told her colleagues in a virtual meeting that she and her team are regularly “adding queerness” to children’s programming. In another leaked video, Disney corporate president Kathy Burke told employees that “as the mother [of] one transgender child and one pansexual child,” she supports having “many, many, many LGBTQIA characters in our stories.” She said she wants a minimum of 50% of characters to be LGBTQIA and racial minorities.

Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, mischaracterized by opponents as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, bans “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity” in kindergarten through third grade. It also bars teaching “in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.” Critics say that could be interpreted to extend through all grades.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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