DeSantis Signs Bill Revoking Disney Of 50-Year-Old Special Tax Status

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation on Friday stripping Disney of its special tax status that had been in effect for over 50 years.

The law, Senate Bill 4C, intends to eliminate special tax districts created prior to 1968 put into effect through the 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement Act. This act gave the Walt Disney company the same authority and responsibility as a county government, but is slated to now have their properties regulated by the Orange and Osceola districts.

Disney’s privileges included regulating its own taxes, land use, environmental and medical services. The special status was signed into law by former Florida Gov. Claude Kirk due to lobbying efforts by Disney to create a recreation area on 25,000 acres in the two counties, Fox News reported.

The governor said Disney lied about Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill and called the corporation’s push for its repeal unacceptable, Fox News reported. The legislation, signed into law on March 28, prohibits classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade and increases school districts’ responsibilities in notifying parents about their child’s health.

“You’re a corporation based in Burbank, California, and you’re gonna marshal your economic might to attack the parents of my state. We view that as a provocation, and we’re going to fight back against that,” DeSantis said. (RELATED: Gov. DeSantis Calls Out Disney Supporting ‘Sexualizing Kindergarteners’ And ‘Lining Their Pockets’ Off The CCP) 

Disney expressed strong opposition to the bill and created tensions between the entertainment giant and the state government.

“Florida’s HB 1557, also known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, should never have passed and should never have been signed into law,” the company said in a statement. “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that.”

“We are dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country.”

The governor first announced his intention to revoke Disney’s special privileges at a press conference on Tuesday, urging the state legislature to pass legislation stripping the corporation of those rights. The state Senate passed the bill during a Wednesday special session.