On Monday, Florida Republicans filed a new piece of legislation that will allow Governor Ron DeSantis to appoint all five leaders of Disney’s tax district in Orlando and rename the district. The legislation will go into effect immediately if passed this week.
DeSantis’ office explained that the special tax district, which has allowed Disney to govern themselves since the district’s creation in 1967, turned the theme park into “an unaccountable Corporate Kingdom.”
“Florida is dissolving the Corporate Kingdom and beginning a new era of accountability and transparency,” DeSantis’ office said. “These actions ensure a state-controlled district accountable to the people instead of a corporate-controlled kingdom.”
The legislation would dissolve the governing Board of the District and change the district’s name from “Reedy Creek Improvement District” to “Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.” A new Board of Supervisors will be created and all five members will be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.
Notably, to be eligible to serve on the new Board of Supervisors, an individual must not have worked for a theme park or entertainment company as an officer, executive, employee or contractor in the last three years.
Walt Disney World Resort’s President Jeff Vahle said in a statement that the company was “monitoring” the legislation.
“We are monitoring the progression of the draft legislation, which is complex given the long history of the Reedy Creek Improvement District,” he said. “Disney works under a number of different models and jurisdictions around the world, and regardless of the outcome, we remain committed to providing the highest quality experience for the millions of guests who visit each year.”
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