Disney Sues DeSantis, Escalating Fight In Florida
The Walt Disney Company has sued Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), escalating the ongoing situation between the company and the state government regarding Disney's special tax status and other benefits.
The Reedy Creek Special Tax District encompasses the entirety of Walt Disney World Resort, overseeing land use and environmental protections, and providing fire protection, emergency medical services, potable water production, treatment, storage, pumping & distribution, reclaimed water distribution, chilled and hot water systems, wastewater services, drainage and flood control, electric power generation & distribution, and waste disposal.
The District also regulates the EPCOT Building Code.
The District’sofficial websiteshares the following information about its operations:
In April 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that would dismantle Disney’s special tax district. At the time, The Washington Post noted that “Disney said its goal as a company was for the law to be repealed or struck down — a statement that infuriated DeSantis.”
In his latest public remarks about the situation last week, DeSantis announced that the Florida Legislature would attempt to "void" a development agreement Disney constructed to nullify the Governor’s potential takeover of Reedy Creek.
Additionally, per Tallahassee.com, DeSantis named several other measures he intends to implement in order to exert more state control over Disney’s properties and business operations.
Disney -- once again helmed by CEO Bob Iger after Bob Chapek stepped down in November 2022 -- has vowed to fight back, and now they have.
Per a new CNBC report, the company today filed a lawsuit that states, in part, that DeSantis "has waged a relentless campaign to weaponize government power" against the entertainment giant. The outlet noted that this "dramatically escalates" the battle between the Republican Presidential hopeful and one of the world's most powerful companies.
With over 70,000 employees, Disney is the largest employer in the Sunshine State.
Stay tuned to TaxBuzz for additional updates, as this is breaking news.
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