Disney says Florida can't dissolve its special tax status

Trending 4 weeks ago 13

The feud betwixt Ron DeSantis and Florida's largest backstage leader present centers connected whether the authorities tin legally dissolve the peculiar taxation territory that governs Walt Disney World, arsenic the governor and section lawmakers did past week.

The sparring began aft DeSantis past period signed a arguable measure barring schools from instructing children successful kindergarten done 3rd people connected issues related to intersexual predisposition and sex identity. Disney CEO Bob Chapek initially tried to enactment retired of the heated nationalist statement implicit the measure, derided by critics arsenic the "Don't accidental Gay" law. But with unit increasing from wrong the institution to reason the measure, helium eventually came retired publically against the measure astatine his company's yearly shareholders gathering successful March.

The Republican politician responded by seeking to tarnish Disney arsenic "woke," and moved to extremity the peculiar presumption that allows the edifice to efficaciously tally arsenic its ain municipal authorities connected the 39-square mile spot it owns, called the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

Making its lone nationalist connection since the Republican politician and lawmakers directed their ire astatine Disney, the institution this week expressed assurance to investors that the authorities could not legally void its 55-year statement truthful agelong arsenic the Reedy Creek district's enslaved indebtedness was not paid off. 

As a result, the bid to disband the peculiar taxation territory successful Orange and Osceola counties would interruption an statement made by Florida erstwhile it created the territory successful 1967, the institution signaled. 

Posted connected the website of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board connected April 21, Disney stated: "In airy of the authorities of Florida's pledge to the district's bondholders, Reedy Creek expects to research its options portion continuing its contiguous operations, including levying and collecting its advertisement valorem taxation bonds and inferior gross bonds, complying with its enslaved covenants and operating and maintaining its properties." 

Florida is contractually obligated not to get progressive with the territory until the enslaved indebtedness is paid off, Jacob Schumer, a municipal lawyer with Maitland, Florida, instrumentality steadfast Shepard, Smith, Kohlmyer & Hand, told CBS MoneyWatch.

"The task of dissolving a peculiar territory and dividing its responsibilities betwixt 2 counties is tremendous," helium said. 

Disney World's peculiar taxation presumption whitethorn not beryllium successful jeopardy, newsman says 06:27

Disney did not respond to a petition for comment. The employs astir 80,000 radical astatine the resort, which includes aggregate taxable parks, hotels and its ain autobus fleet. 

The governmental brouhaha is apt to continue, with DeSantis signaling that helium is acceptable to property the combat with Disney.

"The governor's squad is moving connected administering this authorities which is designed to level the playing tract for businesses successful Florida. When we person much to stock connected our way forward, we volition beryllium gladsome to nonstop it along. As the politician has consistently stated, Floridians volition not person to transportation Disney's burdens," a spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch successful an email. 

More