Florida legislature passes bill repealing Disney’s special tax status

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
70,757
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Deplorable:

Florida’s Republican-led state legislature on Thursday passed a bill sought by Gov. Ron DeSantis to cancel Walt Disney World’s special tax district in Florida.
The speedy approval of the bill — it was filed three days ago, during a special session that was called for a different reason — was decried by state Democrats. Sen. Tina Polsky (D) called it “an enormous decision based on spite and revenge governance.”

The House did not debate the bill after a Democrats held a sit-in to protest a map that DeSantis had ordered that redraws Florida’s congressional districts and cuts the number of minority access districts in half. House speaker Chris Sprowls said that if representatives couldn’t be “civil,” he would cancel the debate and go straight to the vote, which he did.

DeSantis (R) has been feuding with the Walt Disney Company for weeks, ever since CEO Bob Chapek issued a statement criticizing a parental rights law that DeSantis championed and paused donations to Florida politicians. That law prohibits discussions about gender-related issues in public school classes up to third grade, and potentially through high school.


The Disney law will dissolve the entertainment giant’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, which was created in 1967 after Walt Disney bought 40 square miles of land in Central Florida to build the Magic Kingdom. Disney lobbyists said the project was too massive for local governments to handle, so legislators gave Disney the authority to run the development as a quasi-governmental agency.
The law doesn’t take effect until June 2023, giving local governments near Disney 14 months to decide how to manage and pay for the huge property’s public services, such as road maintenance and sewage treatment.

 

Gonolz

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255.jpg
 

seminole97

HR Legend
Jun 14, 2005
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So doesn't this take expenses off of Disney and put them straight onto the local tax payers?

Were they trying to hurt Disney or do them a favor?
Do you think Disney perceives this as a favor?

Still fascinating how the left has suddenly embraced the idea that mega corporations should have exemptions from government regulation that their competitors do not.

Should we expand the Reedy Creek model? If Amazon had Disney-like control over a few hundred acres in NYC, would the end result be worse than what New Yorkers enjoy under their elected government?
 

Hoosierhawkeye

HR Legend
Sep 16, 2008
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Do you think Disney perceives this as a favor?

Still fascinating how the left has suddenly embraced the idea that mega corporations should have exemptions from government regulation that their competitors do not.

Should we expand the Reedy Creek model? If Amazon had Disney-like control over a few hundred acres in NYC, would the end result be worse than what New Yorkers enjoy under their elected government?

I'm not sure of the ins and outs of the whole deal but it seems to me like it gives some extra expenses to Disney but gives them extra control as well.

That said I don't oppose the idea in theory of getting rid of it. What I oppose is that this was done BECAUSE the company expressed an opinion in opposition to the right's opinions.

The right didn't suddenly take this away because they suddenly decided it was unfair. They took this away because Disney disagreed with them.

Right wing cancel culture.

Either way they need to find a way to make sure Disney is the one paying for this and not the local tax payers.
 

StormHawk42

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Nov 3, 2009
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Do you think Disney perceives this as a favor?

Still fascinating how the left has suddenly embraced the idea that mega corporations should have exemptions from government regulation that their competitors do not.

Should we expand the Reedy Creek model? If Amazon had Disney-like control over a few hundred acres in NYC, would the end result be worse than what New Yorkers enjoy under their elected government?
Never gonna shed a tear for corporations when something bad happens to them.

What’s disturbing is how a government entity is directly targeting a single company that disagreed with policy and how swiftly it took place. That pretty much runs afoul to every conservative principle (when there still were principles).
 

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
70,757
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Never gonna shed a tear for corporations when something bad happens to them.

What’s disturbing is how a government entity is directly targeting a single company that disagreed with policy and how swiftly it took place. That pretty much runs afoul to every conservative principle (when there still were principles).

It knda smacks of government censorship, doesn't it?
 

seminole97

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Jun 14, 2005
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Never gonna shed a tear for corporations when something bad happens to them.

What’s disturbing is how a government entity is directly targeting a single company that disagreed with policy and how swiftly it took place. That pretty much runs afoul to every conservative principle (when there still were principles).
I would consider not granting special privileges to particular corporations to be a free market principle (and thus on the conservative end of the American spectrum).
 

NoleATL

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Gold Member
Jul 11, 2007
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I would consider not granting special privileges to particular corporations to be a free market principle (and thus on the conservative end of the American spectrum).
"Free market" would be granting to some and not others. But, I don't think anyone can honestly say they believe this had nothing to do with Disney's stance on the anti gender/sexual identity bill.
 
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seminole97

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There are some very good public policy reasons for sunsetting these sorts of special tax districts. The one invoked here isn't one of them.
It’s not the taxes, it’s the regulations they’re escaping.
They don’t go to city hall for building permits like Universal.
That has costs well beyond the ledger entry for the permit fee.
 
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seminole97

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"Free market" would be granting to some and not others.
No, that’s the mixed economy we enjoy today. e.g. politicians craft tax breaks for union companies that non union ones don’t get.
That sort of political favoritism and thumb on the scale is not the market operating freely.
 

l.todd

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Dec 21, 2004
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Deplorable:

Florida’s Republican-led state legislature on Thursday passed a bill sought by Gov. Ron DeSantis to cancel Walt Disney World’s special tax district in Florida.
The speedy approval of the bill — it was filed three days ago, during a special session that was called for a different reason — was decried by state Democrats. Sen. Tina Polsky (D) called it “an enormous decision based on spite and revenge governance.”

The House did not debate the bill after a Democrats held a sit-in to protest a map that DeSantis had ordered that redraws Florida’s congressional districts and cuts the number of minority access districts in half. House speaker Chris Sprowls said that if representatives couldn’t be “civil,” he would cancel the debate and go straight to the vote, which he did.

DeSantis (R) has been feuding with the Walt Disney Company for weeks, ever since CEO Bob Chapek issued a statement criticizing a parental rights law that DeSantis championed and paused donations to Florida politicians. That law prohibits discussions about gender-related issues in public school classes up to third grade, and potentially through high school.


The Disney law will dissolve the entertainment giant’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, which was created in 1967 after Walt Disney bought 40 square miles of land in Central Florida to build the Magic Kingdom. Disney lobbyists said the project was too massive for local governments to handle, so legislators gave Disney the authority to run the development as a quasi-governmental agency.
The law doesn’t take effect until June 2023, giving local governments near Disney 14 months to decide how to manage and pay for the huge property’s public services, such as road maintenance and sewage treatment.

Amazing how much Democrats love their corporate giveaways to wealthy corporations. Shouldn't they be required to "pay their fair share", follow the laws like the little people do?
 

StormHawk42

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Nov 3, 2009
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I would consider not granting special privileges to particular corporations to be a free market principle (and thus on the conservative end of the American spectrum).
Great. Should have been considered on those types of arguments.

This says “don’t publicly disagree with me or else”. It’s still cancel culture.

I would love to entertain an R presidential candidate in the likes of McCain or Romney. But DeSantis is a wannabe dictator and the fact he’s going to be the R nominee is fuking terrifying.
 

West Duval Nole

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Dec 16, 2013
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The bill allows the special districts to be re-established under new statutes that were not around when this was first established. Reedy Creek isn't the only one impacted by this.

Unfortunately, the timing and reason Desantis decided to push this forward is going to eliminate the discussion on whether the content of the law is the correct thing to do.
 

West Duval Nole

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I will find it entertaining when the Reedy creek special district gets re-established under the new FL statutes to watch the flip-flopping people have on the bill itself.

The people for allowing them to have a special district will suddenly be against it and the people that are voicing they shouldn't have one will suddenly be for it when it happens under Desantis.
 

Aardvark86

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It’s not the taxes, it’s the regulations they’re escaping.
They don’t go to city hall for building permits like Universal.
That has costs well beyond the ledger entry for the permit fee.
understood. only used the phrase tax district because that's what they're called.
 

sober_teacher

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Mar 26, 2007
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Do you think Disney perceives this as a favor?

Still fascinating how the left has suddenly embraced the idea that mega corporations should have exemptions from government regulation that their competitors do not.

Should we expand the Reedy Creek model? If Amazon had Disney-like control over a few hundred acres in NYC, would the end result be worse than what New Yorkers enjoy under their elected government?
I don’t disagree with not wanting special exemptions like this. Don’t pretend FL does this if Disney didn’t say anything about the Dont Say Gay Bill. This was political retaliation and nothing else.
I'm not sure of the ins and outs of the whole deal but it seems to me like it gives some extra expenses to Disney but gives them extra control as well.

That said I don't oppose the idea in theory of getting rid of it. What I oppose is that this was done BECAUSE the company expressed an opinion in opposition to the right's opinions.

The right didn't suddenly take this away because they suddenly decided it was unfair. They took this away because Disney disagreed with them.

Right wing cancel culture.

Either way they need to find a way to make sure Disney is the one paying for this and not the local tax payers.
Agreed.
 

kc78

HR MVP
Nov 25, 2002
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At the very least Republicans should have had an economic impact study implemented to find out how this would effect the Florida taxpayer. But they didn't because they don't give a damn. It's more important that they attack "woke" people and punish anyone that dare defies them rather than actually do Florida taxpayers any good as elected officials.
 

Hoosierhawkeye

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Sep 16, 2008
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At the very least Republicans should have had an economic impact study implemented to find out how this would effect the Florida taxpayer. But they didn't because they don't give a damn. It's more important that they attack "woke" people and punish anyone that dare defies them rather than actually do Florida taxpayers any good as elected officials.

Orlando is blue so they are ok with punishing them too.
 

West Duval Nole

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Dec 16, 2013
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The reasoning in here is somewhat contradictory.

He is screwing the taxpayer, which would mean he is helping Disney. Yet he is retaliating against Disney for speaking out against him. Weird way to retaliate by helping them financially.

So is he helping or hurting Disney? Or are people just making other shit up when all they need to say is Desantis was being petty and pushed it forward for them speaking out against him. So it doesn't really matter the content or whether it helps or hurts Disney. It was done for the wrong reason in a retaliatory manner.
 

BrunoMars420

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Feb 14, 2016
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I'm not sure of the ins and outs of the whole deal but it seems to me like it gives some extra expenses to Disney but gives them extra control as well.

That said I don't oppose the idea in theory of getting rid of it. What I oppose is that this was done BECAUSE the company expressed an opinion in opposition to the right's opinions.

The right didn't suddenly take this away because they suddenly decided it was unfair. They took this away because Disney disagreed with them.

Right wing cancel culture.

Either way they need to find a way to make sure Disney is the one paying for this and not the local tax payers.
This 100%. I never even heard of this law and when I did I was like WTF haha. Hell of a tax abatement for years
 

Hoosierhawkeye

HR Legend
Sep 16, 2008
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The reasoning in here is somewhat contradictory.

He is screwing the taxpayer, which would mean he is helping Disney. Yet he is retaliating against Disney for speaking out against him. Weird way to retaliate by helping them financially.

So is he helping or hurting Disney? Or are people just making other shit up when all they need to say is Desantis was being petty and pushed it forward for them speaking out against him. So it doesn't really matter the content or whether it helps or hurts Disney. It was done for the wrong reason in a retaliatory manner.

It sounds to me like Disney pays but they get control too. So this potentially takes control from them. The question is if Disney is still going to pay though.

Disney theme parks are big and have a lot of people. Providing police protection from the local police forces is going to cost a lot.
 

WadeLookingbill

HR All-State
Nov 9, 2007
641
1,157
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Never gonna shed a tear for corporations when something bad happens to them.

What’s disturbing is how a government entity is directly targeting a single company that disagreed with policy and how swiftly it took place. That pretty much runs afoul to every conservative principle (when there still were principles).

Bingo. Extremely hypocritical on many levels, including a literal canceling.

Also, it is funny to watch the massive spike of the use of "woke" and "groomers" as well. Sheep.
 
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West Duval Nole

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Dec 16, 2013
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It sounds to me like Disney pays but they get control too. So this potentially takes control from them. The question is if Disney is still going to pay though.

Disney theme parks are big and have a lot of people. Providing police protection from the local police forces is going to cost a lot.
Sounds to me like no one here really knows.

Additionally, the bill allows for the special district to be re-established under Florida Statutes that didn't exist when the district was first set up.

And I am going to guess that is what ends up happening. It gets re-established with new rules and regulations.
 

seminole97

HR Legend
Jun 14, 2005
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It sounds to me like Disney pays but they get control too. So this potentially takes control from them. The question is if Disney is still going to pay though.

Disney theme parks are big and have a lot of people. Providing police protection from the local police forces is going to cost a lot.
They have the authority to ‘tax’ themselves and they contract with local law enforcement and pay them (they don’t have their own police).
Now people elected by the citizens of the counties they are in will vote on what taxes they pay instead of their own handpicked ‘citizens’.

I was curious to see if any of those who found the change concerning had thoughts about the desirability of the existing arrangements.
As I mentioned, they’re essentially exempt from many regulations their competitors face, but the freedom gives them flexibility in how they do things.
e.g. I’ve read that, despite not being subject to local government water inspection, the water that flows from their property is cleaner than the water that flows into it.
 
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Im4Iowa

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Sep 9, 2009
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If DeSantis is going to do this to Disney, he needs to do the same thing to The Villages as well. They have a similar set up and established it just a few years later than Disney. But since the vast majority of those residents are Republican, he hand picked the year so it would only impact Disney. This just shows that he’s an ass hole and this law has nothing to do with fairness, it’s all about retaliation.
 

kc78

HR MVP
Nov 25, 2002
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The reasoning in here is somewhat contradictory.

He is screwing the taxpayer, which would mean he is helping Disney. Yet he is retaliating against Disney for speaking out against him. Weird way to retaliate by helping them financially.

So is he helping or hurting Disney? Or are people just making other shit up when all they need to say is Desantis was being petty and pushed it forward for them speaking out against him. So it doesn't really matter the content or whether it helps or hurts Disney. It was done for the wrong reason in a retaliatory manner.
Nobody knows because no one has had time to actually investigate what the result is. That's my point. This was all about the Republicans and DeSantis being able to say they put "Woke" Disney in it's place and try to scare other corporations away from making political statements that DeSantis doesn't like in Florida. I think it'll be a case of helping and hurting. Disney will adapt and move on, it'll be frustrating because now there will be red tape. However they already deal with it in Disneyland and other places, so it's not like they don't have the knowledge on how to handle it.

However, yes, it will frustrate Disney. In the past if they wanted a road, a drainage area, a new shopping area, to expand a theme park; as long as it was on their property they just did it. Now they'll have to work with the county (And WDW sprawls across two counties) to get approval for those items, etc... For the most part they're going to get rubber stamped since it's their land that they own with tons of free space around, but it will add some time in planning. However, that's not really a major issue either. Disney builds things at the slowest pace in the world. Universal has put together entire new lands with multiple rides in the time it's taken Disney to do one ride (Look how long they've taken to build Tron).

Now on the county side, the taxes that Disney was paying itself that it then used for maintenance/construction/etc... will now go to those two counties. However those counties will also have to absorb the 2 billion dollars of debt that Reedy Creek holds. Does that harm those counties? I'm sure they can't be excited about it.

In the end they've set a year before it implements. I wouldn't be surprised to see this quietly walked back after the elections as it's literally being used only for electoral pandering. Republicans no longer politic on policy, it's all about the culture war. That seems to sell well with their base. They don't even need evidence, just give them something to be afraid of and they gobble it up.
 

West Duval Nole

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Dec 16, 2013
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Nobody knows because no one has had time to actually investigate what the result is. That's my point. This was all about the Republicans and DeSantis being able to say they put "Woke" Disney in it's place and try to scare other corporations away from making political statements that DeSantis doesn't like in Florida. I think it'll be a case of helping and hurting. Disney will adapt and move on, it'll be frustrating because now there will be red tape. However they already deal with it in Disneyland and other places, so it's not like they don't have the knowledge on how to handle it.

However, yes, it will frustrate Disney. In the past if they wanted a road, a drainage area, a new shopping area, to expand a theme park; as long as it was on their property they just did it. Now they'll have to work with the county (And WDW sprawls across two counties) to get approval for those items, etc... For the most part they're going to get rubber stamped since it's their land that they own with tons of free space around, but it will add some time in planning. However, that's not really a major issue either. Disney builds things at the slowest pace in the world. Universal has put together entire new lands with multiple rides in the time it's taken Disney to do one ride (Look how long they've taken to build Tron).

Now on the county side, the taxes that Disney was paying itself that it then used for maintenance/construction/etc... will now go to those two counties. However those counties will also have to absorb the 2 billion dollars of debt that Reedy Creek holds. Does that harm those counties? I'm sure they can't be excited about it.

In the end they've set a year before it implements. I wouldn't be surprised to see this quietly walked back after the elections as it's literally being used only for electoral pandering. Republicans no longer politic on policy, it's all about the culture war. That seems to sell well with their base. They don't even need evidence, just give them something to be afraid of and they gobble it up.
I think it is political theater. And my guess is they re-establish the special district before the 6/2023 deadline of it going away. It will force both sides to negotiate and claim a win.
 

praguehawk

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What would those costs be to the county in this circumstance?
It’s not the taxes, it’s the regulations they’re escaping.
They don’t go to city hall for building permits like Universal.
That has costs well beyond the ledger entry for the permit fee.
 

praguehawk

HR MVP
Gold Member
Aug 1, 2003
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What would those costs be to the county in this circumstance?
It’s not the taxes, it’s the regulations they’re escaping.
They don’t go to city hall for building permits like Universal.
That has costs well beyond the ledger entry for the permit fee.
 

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