gov. DeSantis paves the way for the revocation of Disney’s special district in Florida

In a move widely seen as retaliation, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday asked Florida lawmakers to consider the “cessation” of the self-governing privileges Disney World has held in the Orlando area for 55 years. He acted later Disneythe state’s largest private employer, has suspended political donations in Florida and condemned a new state education law which opponents call “Don’t say gay”.

The Florida legislature had the convocation is already foreseen this week for a special session on the reorganization of Congress. On Tuesday, Mr. DeSantis, a Republican, issued a proclamation allowing the Republican-controlled body to also accept bills that would eliminate special tax districts created before 1968.

Florida has hundreds of such districts, but nearly all of them were established after that date, with one exception being Disney World. It was put together in 1967 and essentially allows the megaresort, which employs around 80,000 people, to function as its own municipal government.

Disney’s special zone is called Reedy Creek Improvement District and gives the company considerable control over the planning and permit process for the construction of its 25,000-acre property, including road construction. Reedy Creek also collects taxes on Disney to pay for the resort’s fire and medical response battalions, among other services. Disney World also generates some of its own electricity through Reedy Creek.

Mr. DeSantis and Disney began fighting publicly last month after the company condemned the law on parental rights in education, which among many things restricts discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms. of Florida.

“Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by lawmakers or suppressed in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting national and state organizations working to achieve this,” Disney said on March 28, when Mr. DeSantis signed the law into law. (Disney initially tried not to take a stand on the move, at least publicly, which prompted a employee revolt.)

In response, Mr. DeSantis targeted Disney, berating her as “woken up” and sending a fundraising email to supporters saying she had “lost any moral authority to tell you what to do”. A couple of Florida lawmakers then began threatening to revoke the Disney World Special Tax District.

Disney declined to comment on the development on Tuesday.

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