Disney lost its battle in the Florida House after legislation was passed to remove its special district permissions. The Reedy Creek Improvement District was etched out in 1967, which permitted Disney to operate independently from the government. Disney has gone toe-to-toe on numerous political issues with Florida in recent years, but its opposition to the Parental Right in Education (liberally termed “don’t say gay”) was the final straw.
The legislation will go into effect on June 1, 2023. Disney will now be required to pay all its taxes to Orange and Osceola counties rather than splitting it between the two and the Reedy Creek Improvement District. A second bill has been opened that repeals Disney’s big-tech law privileges by making it vulnerable to lawsuits if it censors information.
It appears that Disney executives discredited the threats made by DeSantis and thought their 55-year untouchable reign would continue. There have been calls in recent days to replace CEO Rob Chapek. Disney shares have fallen 30% in the past year, despite the S&P rising. The company’s attempt at inclusivity has alienated a portion of its clientele, and it would be wise for them to back away.