This move is expected to have huge tax implications for Disney and will further complicate the relationship between the state’s ruling Republicans and a major political player whose theme parks have made Orlando one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.
The Florida House of Representatives had already passed a law on Thursday that is a victory for Republican Governor Ron DeSantis after the company had criticized a controversial law known as “Don’t Say Gay.” t say gay “, in Portuguese), which forbids teachers from talking about sexual orientation in schools in this U.S. state.
Ron DeSantis is an ambitious conservative who, according to policy analysts, would like to use Florida as a springboard to the White House.
The bill could eliminate the Reedy Creek area by June 2023, a special zone of about 100 square miles, located between the counties of Osceola and Orange, in the state center and giving Walt Disney World its own police and fire department. among other privileges.
Status at the governor’s attractions was granted to Disney in the 1960s when the world’s most popular amusement park was built near Orlando.
DeSantis said this Friday that the company will eventually pay more taxes than at present and that the law must not cause Disney residents to raise taxes, even though he did not provide further clarification.
A law passed by Congress and signed by the governor in March that sparked a dispute between the governor and the company prompted Disney to respond in a statement advocating that the proposal “should never have been approved” and apologized to its employees for choosing to remain silent and campaign. “behind the scenes”.
Shortly before the law came into force, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced that the company would withdraw its large political donations in Florida, including to the governor himself.
It also revealed that it would increase its resources in favor of groups fighting similar measures in other states.
The Florida governor, for his part, described Disney’s statements as “dishonest” and “cross-border,” statements he repeated this Friday at a bill signing ceremony that still applies to other similar areas in that state.
The Florida governor criticized Disney for speaking out against the “Don’t Say Gay” law and described the company as an intermediary for an ideology that feeds an inappropriate topic into children’s entertainment.
Democrats criticized the bill and warned that homeowners could have to pay more taxes if they had to pay the cost of the business, even though the circumstances are still unclear.
“The devil is in the details, and we still don’t have the details,” said Jerry Demings, the mayor of Orange County, whose county is partly home to Disney World.
The mayor added that it would be “catastrophic for the budget” if the county had to bear the cost of public safety at the theme park site.
Disney is one of Florida’s largest private employers, with more than 60,000 employees in the state, according to the company.
It is not yet clear how the bill will affect the company and its ability to self-manage.