Florida governor DeSantis signs bill stripping Disney of special status

This new measure will certainly have huge tax consequences for Disney and further complicate the relationship between Republicans in the state of Florida
source: https://www.disneyphile.fr/les-parcs-disney-americains-suppriment-le-tabac/

On Friday, 22 of April, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill to end the special status of the Walt Disney World complex, which has been able to operate as a stand-alone organization for decades.

On Thursday 21st, the Florida House of Representatives had already passed the bill, which was a victory for Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, after the criticism of Disney’s enactment of the controversial law known as “Don’t Say Gay” which prohibited teachers from talking about sexual orientation in Florida schools.

The bill could eliminate the Reedy Creek district by June 2023, a special zone that covers about 100 square kilometers and lies between Osceola and Orange counties in the center of the state, and allows Walt Disney World to have its own police and fire department, among other privileges.

The special status was granted to Disney in the 1960s, when the amusement park near Orlando – that is among the most visited in the world – was built.

DeSantis stressed this Friday that the company will end up paying more taxes than it currently does and that the law should not cause tax increases for Disney residents.

The bill, which sparked the controversy between the governor and the company, prompted Disney to respond in a statement, arguing that this proposal “should never have been passed” and apologizing to its employees for choosing to be silent and campaign “behind the curtains.”

Shortly before the law was enacted, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced that the company would cancel its large political donations in Florida, including to the governor himself. He also revealed that it would increase its funding in favor of groups fighting against similar measures in other states.

Florida’s governor criticized Disney for speaking out against the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, portraying the company as a purveyor of an ideology that injects inappropriate issues into children’s entertainment.

Disney is one of the largest private employers in Florida, with more than 60.000 workers in the state, according to company data. It is not yet known how the company will react and be affected if the bill is implemented.

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