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DeSantis Signs Legislation Ending the Corporate Kingdom of Walt Disney World

With the stroke of a pen, DeSantis ended Disney’s corporate kingdom in Florida. A new state-appointed board of directors will now oversee the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 9B, which ends the self-governing status and special privileges provided to Walt Disney World through the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The governor’s signature immediately establishes a new state-controlled district accountable to the people of Florida.

“Allowing a corporation to control its own government is bad policy, especially when the corporation makes decisions that impact an entire region,” said Governor DeSantis. “This legislation ends Disney’s self-governing status, makes Disney live under the same laws as everybody else, and ensures that Disney pays its debts and [its] fair share of taxes.”

The new legislation amends the Reedy Creek Improvement District charter, which:

  • ENDS Disney’s self-governing status.
  • ENDS Disney’s exemption from the Florida Building Code and Florida Fire Prevention Code.
  • ENDS Disney’s exemption from state regulatory reviews and approvals.
  • ENDS Disney’s secrecy by ensuring transparency.
  • ENSURES that Disney will pay its fair share of taxes.
  • PREVENTS Leftist local governments from using the situation to raise local taxes.
  • IMPOSES Florida law so that Disney is no longer given preferential treatment.
  • ENSURES that Disney’s municipal debt will be paid by Disney, not Florida taxpayers.

The five board members appointed by DeSantis are subject to Florida Senate confirmation.