Ron DeSantis just raised taxes on Floridians in his bigoted war on Disney

Ron DeSantis just raised taxes on Floridians in his bigoted war on Disney
Governor Ron DeSantis Screengrab

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is one-third of the way to punishing Disney for opposing his anti-LGBTQ legislation, the widely-discredited, potentially unconstitutional “Don’t Say Gay” law, but some Florida taxpayers are in for a reportedly multi-billion dollar shock if he signs on the dotted line.

On Wednesday the Florida Senate, succumbing to DeSantis’ worst instincts, passed a bill that would eliminate a 1967 law that essentially created a 39-square mile area, now almost entirely occupied by Disney World, that enables it to act as its own government – including providing all the services, like power, water, sewers, police, and fire, that local governments do.

Called the Reedy Creek Improvement District, DeSantis now wants to essentially void that law. The House is expected to pass that bill Thursday, putting DeSantis’ temper tantrum at his feet.

But according to the Orange County Tax Collector, Orange County would be on the hook for “all debt and obligations with no extra funds,” meaning “Orange County would take on $163 million [in debt obligations] per year.”

It gets worse for Florida taxpayers.

“If Reedy Creek is dissolved, Orange and Osceola counties would assume responsibilities handled by the district like sewer and road maintenance, meaning taxpayers in those counties would pay, The Miami Herald reports. “Taxpayers would also collect the tax revenue Disney pays itself, WFTV 9, an ABC affiliate in Orange County explains. But these counties’ residents would also absorb a lot of debt, too. That debt is no small number: a reported $1 billion.”

That number could actually be $2 billion, as Inside The Magic‘s Luke Dammann reports. according to the Miami Herald’s Capitol Bureau Chief, Mary Ellen Klas.

Here she quotes Florida state Senator Gary Farmer:

She also quotes state Senator Jeff Brandes, who says the DeSantis move effectively cancels $2 billion of Disney’s debt:


Separately, The Miami Herald Editorial Board writes: “DeSantis unleashes vengeance on Disney. This is the stuff of Nixon’s enemies list.”

"Back in 1971,” the editorial board writes, “Nixon’s list had 20 names on it. Over the next few years, it grew to 576 names. We all know how that ended. Now we have DeSantis’ frightening misuse of power. It must stop here, and that starts with lawmakers stiffening their backbones. Today, it’s Disney. Tomorrow, who knows?”

UPDATE:

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