Governor Ron DeSantis released his plan to transform Disney’s “Corporate Kingdom” aka Reedy Creek Improvement District on Monday. The Florida Legislature will take up the matter in an upcoming special session: Here is the statement from the Governor’s office:
In 1967, the Florida Legislature created the Reedy Creek Improvement District (the District), which gifted extraordinary special privileges to a single corporation. Until Governor DeSantis acted, the Walt Disney Company maintained sole control over the District. This power amounted to an unaccountable corporate kingdom.
Florida is dissolving the Corporate Kingdom and beginning a new era of accountability and transparency. The legislation:
Permanently eliminates Disney’s self-governing status.
Imposes a state-controlled, term-limited board – with members appointed by the governor – on Disney and its property.
Allows the state to impose taxes on Disney for possible road projects outside of the District’s boundaries.
Ensures that Disney pays the $700+ million in unsecured debt – not Florida taxpayers.
Provides no control of the district to the leftist local government in Orange County, which threatened to leverage the situation to raise local taxes.
Imposes Florida law so that Disney is no longer given preferential treatment.
Prevents Disney from gaining more land by eminent domain.
Creates an avenue to compel Disney to contribute to local infrastructure.
These actions ensure a state-controlled district accountable to the people instead of a corporate-controlled kingdom.
In contrast, some of the now-revoked powers that were formerly granted to the Walt Disney Company included:
Full self-governing status with a Disney-selected board.
The ability to build airports and nuclear facilities.
Acquisition of property beyond the District’s territory by condemnation and eminent domain.
Unilateral boundary changes.
No-bid procurements of construction contracts.
Operating standards that varied from Florida Statute.
Exemptions from regulatory reviews and approvals that other companies must navigate.