Ron DeSantis officially took control of Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement district in his war with the ‘corporate kingdom’ in a move that will give him the power to select the board and force them to pay $700 million in taxes and debts. It comes as the governor and Florida’s first lady Casey DeSantis admitted the ‘irony’ that they got married at Disney in 2009 and now are in a battle with the ‘woke’ corporation.
DeSantis celebrated with the stroke of his pen marking the Disney ‘corporate kingdom coming to an end’ as he vowed to make the company pay its fair share of taxes. The Sunshine State now has power over the formerly self-governing, special tax exempt district encompassing the entire Walt Disney World Resort, which was established in 1967.
‘Disney loses self-governing status, the State of Florida is the new sheriff in town,’ he said at a press briefing Monday. ‘Buckle up – there’s a lot to get done.’ DeSantis is kicking off a book tour as his memoir The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival hits shelves on Tuesday amid rumors he could launch a 2024 presidential campaign any day now. The new law signed Monday, DeSantis said, essentially makes sure that Disney does not get any special treatment that other theme parks in the state are not receiving.He said that the establishments of Reedy Creek in the 1960’s created an ‘unhealthy’ relationship where Disney and Florida government were ‘attached at the hip.’
Previously, Reedy Creek Improvement District was able to act with the same authority as a county government, making its own rules and governing itself. Now, DeSantis is taking the power back from Disney to on Monday announced the appointment of a five-member board to oversee the nearly 40-square mile area in Orlando. ‘I got a lot on my plate, I can’t be running this from the governor’s office,’ DeSantis said. ‘So we’ve created a state governing board that is going to be responsible for governing this area.’ ‘They’ve got a lot of work to do,’ he added. ‘They know that our vision is. OK, yes, Disney no longer has its own government, but you’ve got to ensure that all of these laws are applied, you’ve got to ensure the debt is paid, you’ve got to ensure the fair share of taxes are paid.’ The new law on Monday brings to a head a culmination of a nearly year-long battle between DeSantis and Disney stemming from passage of the Parental Rights in Education bill. Disney’s then CEO Bob Chapek released a statement condemning DeSantis for the law, which critics have dubbed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill because it restricts educators from including in their curriculum discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade.