DeSantis officially revokes Disney’s self-governing status

2J1YCHH SHADY HILLS, Florida, USA. 28th Mar, 2022. Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks moments before signing the Parental Rights in Education bill during a news conference on Monday, March 28, 2022, at Classical Preparatory school in Shady Hills. (Credit Image: © Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire)

Photo: Alamy

The battle between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Disney escalated Friday afternoon when the governor signed a bill stripping the company of its self-governing privileges in Florida.

In an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, DeSantis noted that the special arrangement Disney had enjoyed for the last 55 years was unlike any other in the state of Florida “and probably anywhere in the United States.”

“They were self-governing, they had extraordinary powers, they could build nuclear power plants, they didn’t have to go through permitting processes – obviously, a lot of tax benefits – so that’s just inappropriate,” the governor said.

Since 1967, Disney has operated under the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which has allowed the company to make changes and improvements to its property without seeking approval from Orange County.

According to CNBC, the bill will dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District and all the benefits it confers, effective June 2023. 

Florida’s decision to strip Disney of those benefits comes amid the company’s pledge to seek a repeal of the state’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill – a move that DeSantis said, “crossed the line.”

And it would seem that many others agree. Per the Washington Examiner, since issuing that statement, Disney has seen its stock plummet to the tune of nearly $50 billion. 

With the battle for parental rights ramping up across the nation and just over a year before Disney’s special tax privileges disappear, it remains to be seen whether the company will reverse course.

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