The Florida State Legislature voted Thursday afternoon by a wide margin to support a bill that would give Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) the authority to select all five members of Disney’s new tax district in Orlando.
The Republican supermajority in the state house ensured the bill’s passage with an 82-31 vote. It is expected that the state Senate, whose Republicans also have a supermajority, will vote on the bill within the next 36 hours.
According to DeSantis’ office, Disney World has become “an unaccountable Corporate Kingdom” due to the special tax district that has given the company self-rule since 1967.
According to DeSantis’s office, “Florida is collapsing the Corporate Kingdom and launching a new age of responsibility and openness.” These measures will ensure that the district is governed by the state and is responsible to the people, rather than a private corporation.
The office of DeSantis stated that the bill:
Disney’s autonomy is ended indefinitely.
Disney and its properties will be subject to a state-appointed board with restricted terms.
Consents to the collection of taxes from Disney by the state in anticipation of future road construction outside the District’s borders.
guarantees that Disney, and not Floridians, will be on the hook for the $700 million in unsecured debt.
Orange County’s left-leaning local government, which had vowed to use the scenario to hike local taxes, would gain no authority over the district as a result.
Florida legislation would be imposed so that Disney would no longer receive special treatment.
It stops Disney from seizing any additional property for its theme parks.
Establishes a mechanism for pressuring Disney to fund community projects.
Some of Disney’s former self-governance rights were detailed in a press statement from DeSantis’ office.
Complete independence under the control of a board handpicked by Disney.
Possession of engineering chops necessary for constructing airports and nuclear power plants.
Using eminent domain and condemnation to acquire land outside the District’s borders.
Adjustments to boundaries made by only one party.
Awarding building contracts without a competitive bidding process.
Differences in operation requirements compared to those outlined in Florida law.
exclusion from mandatory checks and permissions required by competing businesses.
Disney “is going to pay its fair share of taxes, and Disney is going to fulfill the obligation,” DeSantis declared during a news conference this week.
And that’s why this bill is so important,” he continued. Now, Florida as a state will be in charge of this, since they are no longer a sovereign nation. Now that a new law enforcement official has taken office, things will continue in this fashion.