The Florida House of Representatives granted final passage to legislation that would end Disney’s tax privilege and self-governing power on Thursday, sending the bill to Governor Ron DeSantis to sign.
The Florida Senate, with a 23-16 vote, also voted in support of the legislation on Wednesday.
NOW – Florida House votes in favor to strip Disney’s self-government. pic.twitter.com/gq9S0po83K
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) April 21, 2022
Hecklers could be heard shouting uncontrollably during the vote.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is unlikely to veto the measure, which he used in a fundraising bid on Wednesday evening.
“Disney and other woke corporations won’t get away with peddling their unchecked pressure campaigns any longer,” DeSantis wrote in the pitch to supporters. “If we want to keep the Democrat machine and their corporate lapdogs accountable, we have to stand together now.”
Since 1967, Disney has operated its own government covering over 27,000 acres around Walt Disney World in Florida — known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District.
“I don’t think there’s another special taxing district in the state that I’m aware of that has the ability to construct their own nuclear power plant. I think that’s something that’s unique to Disney,” Republican House Speaker Chris Sprowls said on Tuesday.
As Timcast explained in a previous report, under Florida law, Disney can control their own water, power, emergency services — and much more.
“I was shocked to see some of the stuff that’s in there. They can do their own nuclear power plant. Is there any other private company in the state that can just build a nuclear power plant on their own?” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said during a press conference on Tuesday. “They’re able to do certain things that nobody else is able to do. So I think they’re right to be looking at this and reevaluating and having an even playing field for everybody, I think is much better than basically to allow one company to be a law onto itself.”
Disney has become increasingly political, recently making headlines for loud opposition to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law and suspended political donations in the state. In turn, the company will support organizations working to oppose the law.
Branded the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by opponents, the legislation does not actually mention the word “gay,” but rather prohibits the teaching of gender identity or sexual orientation to students in third grade and below.
Democratic State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith from Orlando has called the bill retaliation for Disney wading into politics.
“They are applying this bill only to affect Reedy Creek and not The Villages. This is political retribution. They are punishing Disney for speaking out against them on ‘Don’t Say Gay,'” Guillermo said, according to a report from WESH.
The bill will have massive tax implications for the entertainment conglomerate.
Disney has not yet responded to the vote.