By Lydia Nusbaum
April 29, 2022 Updated 10:06 A.M. ET
ORLANDO (FLV) – Gov. Ron DeSantis reiterated Thursday at a Fox News Town Hall with Laura Ingraham that Disney will pay its $1 billion in debts after the Governor signed a bill in April to dissolve the company’s special district.
“The bonds will be paid by Disney. They will be paying taxes. Probably more taxes. They will follow the laws that every other person has to do and they will no longer have the ability to run their own government,” DeSantis said.
The legislation dismantles the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which allows Disney to govern itself on things like building codes, zoning, and electricity. At the town hall, Laura Ingraham asked if dissolving the district could end up backfiring on Florida taxpayers.
“No. Disney will pay its debts. Disney for the first time will actually live under the same laws as everybody else in Florida and that’s what matters,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis said there is going to be additional legislative action so that the bond debt does not shift to local taxpayers.
“We’ve contemplated that. We know what we’re going to do and so stay tuned. That’ll all be apparent,” DeSantis said. “The bonds will be paid by Disney. They will be paying taxes. Probably more taxes.”
Currently, Disney pays for roads, water treatment, and other operations. Lawmakers during debate on the bill said that burden would shift to taxpayers once the special district dissolves.
“They [Disney] will continue paying money to run their operations. And that’ll be true if the state is in charge of the district. If it is dissolved to the locals. It doesn’t matter. That is going to continue to happen,” DeSantis said.
Florida Republicans took aim to dissolve Disney’s special district after the 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.”
Two long-time Disney employees also spoke at Thursday’s town hall with Laura Ingraham. One employee said Disney managers were encouraged to talk about fighting against the Parental Rights in Education Act.
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.
“I am not comfortable having one company with their own government and special privileges when that company has pledged itself to attacking the parents in my state when that company has people very high up talking about injecting pansexualism into programming for young kids,” DeSantis said. “It’s wrong. Walt Disney would not want that.”
Since then, other states have attempted to recruit Disney from Florida to their states. Here is an excerpt from the interview:
Laura Ingraham: “What if you’re the Governor that drove Disney out?”
DeSantis: “You want to bet that they will not move it out of Florida? I would be willing to bet a lot of money. It probably costs a half a trillion dollars to do that.”
Laura Ingraham: “Where does this end with you and Disney?”
DeSantis: “It just simply ends with them being treated the same as every other company in Florida. They are going to follow laws. They are not going to have their own government. They are going to pay their debts and their taxes. I saved tens of thousands of jobs in Florida. If you have a Governor like in California, these people would have lost their jobs because Disneyland was closed for over a year. I got them back.”
Disney’s special district is set to dissolve by June 1st, 2023.
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