Florida legislature passes bill repealing Disney’s special tax status

runkpanole

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Nov 17, 2002
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This is going to be a giant cluster. I wonder how fire, electricity, etc gets provided given that all those services are provided by Reedy Creek now. The $2 billion in debt service will be fun. Oh and all that tax exempt land remains tax exempt. Going to be fun.
 
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kc78

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EVERYTHING DeSantis does is for political theater.
It was strange to watch his personality change post covid. I didn't vote for him as Governor, but for his first year I was actually pleasantly surprised as he actually governed like a moderate. Then Covid happened and his entire personality changed. I think once he saw how much traction he was getting as the face of Covid defiance that his aspirations suddenly grew much larger and he adopted the theater process that he and Abbott both love so much.

It's a shame that Republican politicians are no longer interested in actually governing but just playing for the cameras, and even sadder that their voters reward them for it.
 

kc78

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This is going to be a giant cluster. I wonder how fire, electricity, etc gets provided given that all those services are provided by Reedy Creek now. The $2 billion in debt service will be fun. Oh and all that tax exempt land remains tax exempt. Going to be fun.
A friend of mine is an urban planner. He says that if it goes through that all that will really likely change is in where the "tax dollars" go and that they'll likely draw up an agreement to essentially keep the district in place and running as it is with the current people guiding it, and essentially make a new special district from the county level.
 

95Hawk

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Nov 21, 2001
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A friend of mine is an urban planner. He says that if it goes through that all that will really likely change is in where the "tax dollars" go and that they'll likely draw up an agreement to essentially keep the district in place and running as it is with the current people guiding it, and essentially make a new special district from the county level.

So it’s all political theater.

And any chance for helpful legislation that benefits the people of Florida gets flushed down the toilet.
 

lucas80

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Jan 30, 2008
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This is going to be a giant cluster. I wonder how fire, electricity, etc gets provided given that all those services are provided by Reedy Creek now. The $2 billion in debt service will be fun. Oh and all that tax exempt land remains tax exempt. Going to be fun.
DeSantis doesn’t care. If he is re-elected governor nothing bad will happen with all of that debt, or the messy break up of Reedy Creek until 2024, and he will be spending every waking moment outside of Florida running for POTUS. He will conveniently blame anything bad on Central Florida Dems.
 

lucas80

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Jan 30, 2008
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So, The Villages are good, right? They get to keep their special status?
Weird that the law picked the date it did to go after special districts like Reedy Creek. I wonder if that will come up in any potential legal action? Or, the fundraising tweet DeSantis put out today? Or, the apparent attempt to punish speech?
 

Aardvark86

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Jan 23, 2018
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A friend of mine is an urban planner. He says that if it goes through that all that will really likely change is in where the "tax dollars" go and that they'll likely draw up an agreement to essentially keep the district in place and running as it is with the current people guiding it, and essentially make a new special district from the county level.
More or less, except that the localities will extract more when it comes to permit approvals, etc.
 

THE_DEVIL

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Aug 16, 2005
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Hell, Michigan
www.livecoinwatch.com

Absorbing debt​

Dissolving the district would mean Reedy Creek employees and infrastructure would be absorbed by the local counties, which would then become responsible for all municipal services. The counties would collect the tax revenue Disney currently pays the Reedy Creek district, but would also be saddled with the district’s liabilities. Namely, its debt.
Reedy Creek historically operates at a loss of around $5 million to $10 million each year, according to its financial reports. But since Disney can subsidize its own operations with theme park revenue, that debt doesn’t have much impact on its bottom line.
According to lawmakers, there’s around $1 billion in debt on the balance sheet that taxpayers would become responsible for should the special district get absorbed, leading to higher taxes.
“No one wants to take that amount of debt up,” Linda Stewart, a Democrat who represents Florida’s 13th Senate district, told CNBC on Wednesday. “None of this makes any sense. They just bit off way more than they can chew by trying to get the Reedy Creek district dissolved ... This is a major, major issue that I don’t think it will be, in the end, very successful.”
Taxpayers would also be on the hook for any municipal improvements that Disney currently pays for, including road work.
In 2019, for example, Disney’s Orlando neighbor Universal partnered with Orange County and the state to build a 1.7-mile extension to Kirkman Road between Carrier Drive and Universal Boulevard to accommodate the company’s new park Epic Universe.
That project cost an estimated $300 million, more than half of which Universal footed. The company paid $160 million, leaving Orange County to pay $125 million and the state to pay around $16 million.
The tab for similar projects at Disney could easily pile up.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/21/flo...nt=Main&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1650561883
 

cigaretteman

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May 29, 2001
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Absorbing debt​

Dissolving the district would mean Reedy Creek employees and infrastructure would be absorbed by the local counties, which would then become responsible for all municipal services. The counties would collect the tax revenue Disney currently pays the Reedy Creek district, but would also be saddled with the district’s liabilities. Namely, its debt.
Reedy Creek historically operates at a loss of around $5 million to $10 million each year, according to its financial reports. But since Disney can subsidize its own operations with theme park revenue, that debt doesn’t have much impact on its bottom line.
According to lawmakers, there’s around $1 billion in debt on the balance sheet that taxpayers would become responsible for should the special district get absorbed, leading to higher taxes.
“No one wants to take that amount of debt up,” Linda Stewart, a Democrat who represents Florida’s 13th Senate district, told CNBC on Wednesday. “None of this makes any sense. They just bit off way more than they can chew by trying to get the Reedy Creek district dissolved ... This is a major, major issue that I don’t think it will be, in the end, very successful.”
Taxpayers would also be on the hook for any municipal improvements that Disney currently pays for, including road work.
In 2019, for example, Disney’s Orlando neighbor Universal partnered with Orange County and the state to build a 1.7-mile extension to Kirkman Road between Carrier Drive and Universal Boulevard to accommodate the company’s new park Epic Universe.
That project cost an estimated $300 million, more than half of which Universal footed. The company paid $160 million, leaving Orange County to pay $125 million and the state to pay around $16 million.
The tab for similar projects at Disney could easily pile up.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/21/flo...nt=Main&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1650561883
The counties can't be too happy about this. Maybe the state will bail them out though.
 

tarheelbybirth

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Apr 17, 2003
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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?
Absolutely. So tell us when DeSantis will remove these kinds of special favors for every corporation operating in the state. Or are you saying this has not one thing to do with core principles and everything to do with trying to punish a corporation for it's beliefs? Would you be ok with Hobby Lobby or Chick Fil A being specifically targeted by the govt for their stances on religious issues?
 

West Duval Nole

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Dec 16, 2013
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Suddenly corporations are bad according to republicans. Just reflecting some of the logic I see here.
Exactly. It's weird to see Dems and Repubs flip flop on what are their normal platforms. Repubs generally prefer private sector running things than government and Dems generally prefer government running things.
 

kc78

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Exactly. It's weird to see Dems and Repubs flip flop on what are their normal platforms. Repubs generally prefer private sector running things than government and Dems generally prefer government running things.
Honestly, I don't care about the special district. Disney will survive no matter which option happens. The Counties will figure it out, it's simply a big headache for a number of people because DeSantis can't take criticism.

My concern isn't with the specific action, but instead the reasoning for the action. It wasn't taken because the special district is bad for Florida, gives Disney unfair advantages, or that there were better ways to do it. In fact, Republicans have no clue whether this will help or hurt Florida. My complaint is that it's completely political and an attack on someone because they disagreed with your policy. It's a slap right in the face of what America is supposed to stand for and Government isn't supposed to attack people or companies just because they disagree with a policy.

Republicans have jumped the shark on all of those. They've also banned a ton of math books claiming they're teaching CRT without any evidence, or whatever evidence they've found is so minor that it's not worth the cost and headache they're causing to school boards here. It's all political theater and fake news from the Republicans. They've started inventing issues to be afraid of and then building policies to fix problems that don't exist, meanwhile they're just creating more issues and inflating costs all around.
 

MikeyHawk

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Apr 17, 2015
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Honestly, I don't care about the special district. Disney will survive no matter which option happens. The Counties will figure it out, it's simply a big headache for a number of people because DeSantis can't take criticism.

My concern isn't with the specific action, but instead the reasoning for the action. It wasn't taken because the special district is bad for Florida, gives Disney unfair advantages, or that there were better ways to do it. In fact, Republicans have no clue whether this will help or hurt Florida. My complaint is that it's completely political and an attack on someone because they disagreed with your policy. It's a slap right in the face of what America is supposed to stand for and Government isn't supposed to attack people or companies just because they disagree with a policy.

Republicans have jumped the shark on all of those. They've also banned a ton of math books claiming they're teaching CRT without any evidence, or whatever evidence they've found is so minor that it's not worth the cost and headache they're causing to school boards here. It's all political theater and fake news from the Republicans. They've started inventing issues to be afraid of and then building policies to fix problems that don't exist, meanwhile they're just creating more issues and inflating costs all around.
Where does a specific tax for large companies that Democrats deem to have too much money fall in this? Is that considered to be completely political?
Thankfully, the Democrats are not prone to political theater and creating more issues and inflating costs all around. Republicans are wrong the majority of the time as well.
Just admit you don't like it because the governor is a Republican, would be more concise
 

Hoosierhawkeye

HR Legend
Sep 16, 2008
46,868
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40

Absorbing debt​

Dissolving the district would mean Reedy Creek employees and infrastructure would be absorbed by the local counties, which would then become responsible for all municipal services. The counties would collect the tax revenue Disney currently pays the Reedy Creek district, but would also be saddled with the district’s liabilities. Namely, its debt.
Reedy Creek historically operates at a loss of around $5 million to $10 million each year, according to its financial reports. But since Disney can subsidize its own operations with theme park revenue, that debt doesn’t have much impact on its bottom line.
According to lawmakers, there’s around $1 billion in debt on the balance sheet that taxpayers would become responsible for should the special district get absorbed, leading to higher taxes.
“No one wants to take that amount of debt up,” Linda Stewart, a Democrat who represents Florida’s 13th Senate district, told CNBC on Wednesday. “None of this makes any sense. They just bit off way more than they can chew by trying to get the Reedy Creek district dissolved ... This is a major, major issue that I don’t think it will be, in the end, very successful.”
Taxpayers would also be on the hook for any municipal improvements that Disney currently pays for, including road work.
In 2019, for example, Disney’s Orlando neighbor Universal partnered with Orange County and the state to build a 1.7-mile extension to Kirkman Road between Carrier Drive and Universal Boulevard to accommodate the company’s new park Epic Universe.
That project cost an estimated $300 million, more than half of which Universal footed. The company paid $160 million, leaving Orange County to pay $125 million and the state to pay around $16 million.
The tab for similar projects at Disney could easily pile up.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/21/flo...nt=Main&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1650561883

So basically he got a 2 fer. He hurt Disney for daring to disagree with him and he gets to hurt the Dems in Orlando for daring to not vote for him.

Republicans are weaponizing political office against the people who don't vote for them.

This is yet another step in the direction of civil war.
 
Nov 28, 2010
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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.
I'm usually a reliable supporter of sunset provisions. But considering the state of our polity, that needs to take a back seat to restoring and strengthening democracy.

Otherwise pretty much every progressive policy - from good education and workplace safety to progressive taxes and combating the climate crisis - will be on term limits, and much of what protects America from being savaged by our oligarchs and private power will soon disappear.
 

Tom Paris

HR Legend
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Oct 1, 2001
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Does Disney have more than one special district? The article linked from Forbes above stated : "as well as five others that were established before 1968".

It doesn't change that Desantis was being petty and retaliatory.
Not that I know of. But there are over 1000 more, I think. DeSantis only attacked the ones before 1968...because that affects Disney. It was purposeful. Everything today's Republicans do and say is with purpose.
 

kc78

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Nov 25, 2002
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Where does a specific tax for large companies that Democrats deem to have too much money fall in this? Is that considered to be completely political?
Thankfully, the Democrats are not prone to political theater and creating more issues and inflating costs all around. Republicans are wrong the majority of the time as well.
Just admit you don't like it because the governor is a Republican, would be more concise
Taxes on levels of wealth are how we've always done taxes. As long as taxes are imposed fairly across the board to all companies regardless of who they support politically then it's fair game in the world of taxes. I do not believe taxation is theft, nor do I believe we are better off when certain people become incredibly wealthy or when companies priorities massive profits over their own employees well being. I would be opposed to a set of high taxes for companies who have criticized Democrats and tax breaks for those who support them. That would be a massive abuse of power.

In this case, I'm against a Governor using the office to attack a private enterprise because they used their right to free speech. It's one thing for private individuals to attack others, it's quite different when it's our own government. That's been one of the primary bastions of our Country for years. You're free to say what you want and the Government can't shut you down.

As it stands, while my sympathies are moving more towards the Democrats primarily because the Republicans have lost their minds, I am still a registered Republican and Trump was the first time I ever voted for a Democrat. I just had to take a step back and see how dangerous Republican policies and stances were becoming. I can't support that any longer.
 

kc78

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I guess Disney will go back to paying their fair share.
You mean their billions of debt will be handed to the tax payers. They were already paying their taxes, just to their own district which then used the money to build roads, sewage, fire service, etc... They'll now pay those same taxes to the local government and also happily hand them billions of debt too.
 
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red/green hawk

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Oct 28, 2009
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You mean their billions of debt will be handed to the tax payers. They were already paying their taxes, just to their own district which then used the money to build roads, sewage, fire service, etc... They'll now pay those same taxes to the local government and also happily hand them billions of debt too.
Yup, it's really going to benefit Disney to dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District. I guess these loonies are cheering?
 

kc78

HR MVP
Nov 25, 2002
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Here I thought corporate well fare was bad. How much money will it cost taxpayers?
The counties will have to absorb what has been reported as about 2 billion in debt.

The truth is, no one in the legislature really knows if it's going to help or hurt. People on both sides keep saying Disney will now pay it's fair share and those on the other keep pointing out that billions in debt will also be transferred. The only place we know it will hurt Disney is they now have to go through more red tape to get things built, but as long as they plan those things out and as long as it takes them to build them, I think that's a minor headache. They also can't immediately fix a pothole in a road that they do now as they like to keep their roads pristine. It'll now be up to the county to get people out there to do it.

Truth is, I bet that after the elections, this all quietly goes away. This is being used for electoral posturing and nothing else.
 
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red/green hawk

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Oct 28, 2009
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Truth is, I bet that after the elections, this all quietly goes away. This is being used for electoral posturing and nothing else.
I agree with this statement. Note this doesn't take effect until next year...so how much you wanna bet it never happens?
 

1inamillion

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Oct 1, 2001
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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.
Disney will continue. They are not like Roseanne, song of the south, huckleberry Finn, and even al Franken that are canceled.
 

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