‘Seek Justice’: DeSantis-Backed Board Sues Disney As Feud Continues Over Tax Exempt Status

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Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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The DeSantis-backed Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board has approved a lawsuit from Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ administration in the latest development over Disney’s tax exempt status.

Disney filed a lawsuit against the governor on April 26, accusing him of launching a “targeted campaign of government retaliation.” The entertainment company had released a statement opposing a Florida bill banning discussions of sex and sexuality with young students through the third grade, legislation which DeSantis supported. (RELATED: Middle School Student Claims He Was Sent Home After Wearing ‘There Are Only Two Genders’ Shirt)

“Disney sued us, we have no choice now but to respond,” Martin Garcia, chair of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, said during a Monday meeting. “The district will seek justice in state court here in central Florida where both it and Disney reside and do business.”

Disney reportedly signed a last minute agreement with the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a tax-exempt district that granted Disney certain special privileges, before DeSantis signed February legislation ending Disney’s special status. DeSantis announced he would void the last second agreement the company made with the oversight board, saying, “come hell or high water, we’re going to make sure that policy of Florida carries the day.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has criticized DeSantis’s handling of Disney, encouraging him to “sit down and negotiate” with the entertainment company. Former South Carolina Governor and presidential candidate Nikki Haley invited Disney to move to South Carolina in April.

“If Disney would like to move their hundreds of thousands of jobs to South Carolina, and bring the billions of dollars with them, I’ll let them know I’ll be happy to meet them in South Carolina and introduce them to the governor and the Legislature that would welcome it,” Haley told Fox News.