Home Creek DeSanits: State likely to take over Disney’s Reedy Creek

DeSanits: State likely to take over Disney’s Reedy Creek

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The governor also said Central Florida taxpayers would not be liable for Reedy Creek’s $766 million debt.

SANFORD, Fla. — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suggested Monday that the state would take over the Reedy Creek Autonomous District from Disney World rather than hand over control to local governments.

The governor hinted at the development during a morning press conference in central Florida.

“While there are ways to get local communities to absorb jurisdiction over Disney, after seeing them threaten to raise taxes on their citizens, we’re not going to find ourselves in a situation where we’re just going to give them local control – the more likely the state will just assume control and make sure we’re able to enforce the law and make sure we collect the taxes,” DeSantis said.

He added that he was working on a proposal that could be considered by lawmakers after the November election.

This is the latest development in the ongoing back and forth between DeSantis and Disney.

DeSantis previously signed a bill dissolving Walt Disney World’s private government controls over his property. The law eliminates the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as the 55-year-old Disney government is known, along with a handful of other similar districts by June 2023.

Critics say the law was implemented to punish Disney after the company’s CEO, Bob Chapek, spoke about the Parental Rights in Education Act, or what critics dubbed ‘Don’ t Say Gay”. Some also say the move will negatively impact taxpayers in counties neighboring Disney.

However, DeSantis made it clear on Monday that Reedy Creek’s $766 million debt “is not going to end up going to any of these local governments.”

“It’s absolutely going to be dealt with with the ratepayers who are in this district right now,” he said.

“Obviously, with Reedy Creek, the way forward is that Disney will not control its own government in the state of Florida,” the governor continued. “Disney will have to follow the same law that all other businesses have to follow in the state of Florida. They will pay their fair share of taxes and they will be responsible for paying debts.

You can watch the full press conference below.