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Florida Governor Signs Bill That Will Strip Disney of Special Tax Status

A bill to strip Disney of its special tax status was passed last week by the Florida House of Representatives shortly after the Senate approved it 23-16. This stems from the battle Disney has been having with the Florida Governor regarding a classroom instruction bill that was signed into law just over one month ago.


The Reedy Creek Improvement District was created in 1967 and was made for Disney to be exempted from a plethora of particular tax fees as well as numerous regulations. Florida Lawmaker Spencer Roach said in a statement, “I think it’s time Disney has to follow the same rules as everyone else” Roach has also been outspoken about the idea of totally abolishing The Reedy Improvement District. He also stated that this bill will finally put Disney on the same regulatory and tax playing field as other theme parks around the state of Florida.

Disney & Reedy Creek Improvement District

Disney is the primary landowner at Reedy Creek. Almost the entirety of the $153 million in revenue that the district made in the 2021 fiscal year was attributed to Disney. This money that Disney makes from taxes and fees they collect is used to cover the entire Reedy Creek Districts’ governing expenses, which includes paying the salaries of the roughly 500 employees that work for the district.

Disney also employs roughly 80,000 employees statewide in Florida, with their resorts and amusement parks requiring the most workers. When running at full capacity, Tourism to Disney can attract as much as $5.8 billion in state and local tax revenue, according to Visit Orlando.

The Bill

Under the bill that lawmakers passed last week, any special district that was established before the ratification of the Florida Constitution in 1968 and has not renewed its status since then, will be eradicated as of June 1, 2023. Reedy Creek meets all the criteria to be dissolved which means Disney may no longer have a special district. However, Disney can seek to reestablish a new special district once Reedy Creek is completely dissolved.

Wrap Up

The Bill is not set to be implemented until June of 2023, which gives Disney and the governor of Florida enough time to negotiate. But with the back and forth between Governor DeSantis and Disney, it is unknown if the governor will change his position.

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