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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Disney Loses Special Status

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill yesterday formally rescinding The Walt Disney Company's private control over a 39-square-mile district outside Orlando where it operates its theme parks. The move finalizes a yearlong process seeking to end Disney's 56-year special status in the state.

In 1967, the area was designated by Florida lawmakers as the Reedy Creek Improvement District (see history). The Reedy Creek Act gave Disney nearly complete control over taxation, codes, and services, and was supervised by a five-member board appointed by the company.

The new bill would not abolish the district as was proposed in April (see previous write-up), but instead hand over power in the district to the governor, effective June 1. Keeping the district intact was partly designed to avoid saddling the state and adjacent Orange and Osceola counties with Disney's nearly $1B in municipal debt. See other substantive changes to the district here.

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