Walt Disney World will lose its self-governing power if legislation backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis is passed. Currently, the Disney World Resort, 39.6 square miles, is located within the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID) in Osceola and Orange counties. The RCID was created in 1967, under HB 486, the Reedy Creek Improvement Act. The Act gave governmental authority to the RCID; the same authority and responsibilities, including taxing authority, as a county government.
DeSantis’ feud with Walt Disney World began last year after he signed the Parental Rights in Education bill – what detractors misleadingly coined as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.” Walt Disney World management vowed to see that the measure was repealed.
On Jan. 6, the Osceola County website carried a notice that the County intended to seek legislation “amending, reenacting and repealing” The Reedy Creek Improvement Act, removing and revising the District’s powers and “increasing state oversight, accountability, and transparency.”
In a response on Jan. 6, DeSantis Communications Director Taryn Fenske Tweeted that “The corporate kingdom has come to an end.”
“The proposed legislation, backed by Gov. DeSantis, will require Disney to pay off its own debts,” she said in her posting.” The corporation will NOT be able to shift that burden onto Florida taxpayers.”
No one at Disney LLC was available for comment. Legislation regarding the RCID is expected to be filed during the next regular session of the legislature, which begins on March 7.