April 28, 2022 Updated 9:08 A.M. ET
TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration said Thursday it will release a plan to make sure residents do not pay more taxes once Disney’s special district dissolves.
Press Secretary Christina Pushaw said on Twitter the plan will be shared in the next few weeks.
“As Governor DeSantis has said, Disney will pay its fair share of taxes, and abolishing the special district will not cause tax increases for the residents of any area of Florida,” Pushaw said.
DeSantis signed a bill to disband six special districts including the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which gives Disney its self-governing powers. Those special districts created are set to dissolve by June 1st, 2023.
Once the district dissolves, Florida law requires outstanding debts to shift to surrounding counties and municipalities. Disney’s special district reportedly has about $1 billion in bond debt.
“Disney will pay its fair share of taxes. Floridians, including residents of Orange and Osceola Counties, will not be on the hook. Do not fall for another partisan political lie being amplified by media,” Pushaw said.
Disney’s special district quietly told its investors that their $1 billion in debt would need to be paid off before the district could be dissolved, but Pushaw pushed back on claims that Disney would receive a tax break.
“Partisan politicians (and their stenographers in the press) are making unsubstantiated statements that do not stand up to basic logic. Let’s think about this for a minute: If it’s true that the repeal of the special district would hand Disney a tax break, and the local taxpayers would be on the hook for this bailout to benefit Disney… then why would Disney oppose repealing their special district?” Pushaw said on Twitter.
The 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement Act allows Disney to govern itself in Walt Disney World on things like building codes, zoning, and electricity.
DeSantis and Republican lawmakers called for Disney’s special privileges to be dissolved after the California-based company vowed to “repeal” the state’s Parental Rights in Education Act.
Left-wing activists have dubbed the legislation the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.” The act provides parents more access to information to their children’s personal education experience and prevent children from Pre-K through 3rd grade from being taught about gender and sexual identity.
Democrats said lawmakers should not retaliate against a company for speaking their opinions. However, DeSantis said the company was actively getting in the way of a parent’s right to be involved in their child’s education.
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