A New Prison Near Walt Disney World? Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Turns Up The Heat On Reedy Creek

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis insisted again today that he and the state legislature can and will overturn any Disney development deal and retake control of the acreage that’s home to Walt Disney World and was administered by the company in what’s called the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

He called the recently discovered Disney contracts legally unsound but said that even if they weren’t, “Florida statutes provide the legislature with the authority to revoke development agreements in this exact kind of instance.” He told a press conference this afternoon in Lake Buena Vista at the Reed Creek building that the state “will make sure the agreements are revoked and the people’s will is established and upheld.”

Related Story

Ejecting Ike Perlmutter "Was A Necessary Step," Disney CEO Bob Iger Tells Time Magazine

How will that look for the House of Mouse? The governor seemed to relish ticking off possibilities, including tighter building and safety inspections (he called out the WDW monorail in particular), higher pay for first responders, affordable housing for park employees, and no more “medical authoritarian policies” like forcing patrons to wear masks.

He mused about the possibility of developing district land that Disney doesn’t own. “People are like, ‘Well, what should we do with this land? Maybe create a state park. Maybe try to do more amusement parks?’ Someone even said, ‘Maybe you even need another state prison.’

“Who knows? I just think that the possibilities are endless.”

Disney declined to comment.

Former CEO Bob Chapek crossed the governor a year ago when, under pressure from employees, he came out against the state’s so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. Florida lawmakers voted to rescind Disney’s longstanding Reedy Creek autonomy. But a Disney-appointed old board enacted long-term development agreements that appeared to be an end run around DeSantis and the new District board that he appointed. The deal was public but came as a surprise to the new board, which was seated early this year.

Current Disney chief executive Bob Iger recently slammed DeSantis at a the company’s annual meeting, noting the area in question was swampland before Walt Disney developed it. “We love the state of Florida. And I think that’s reflected in not only how much we’ve invested over the last 50 years, but how much we’ve given back in the form of jobs and community service taxes which you brought up, tourism, of course, and all sorts of other responsible business practices. We’ve also always respected and appreciated what the state has done for us,” he said, “but it’s kind of been a two-way street.”

A person familiar with the situation noted that the development agreement had been approved by the state.

On safety, the person said Disney has been a leader and continues to develop procedures and best practices that are leveraged across the industry, including a state-wide memorandum requiring quarterly reporting of any serious ride-related injuries and immediate reporting of fatalities, biannual site visits and reviews.

On housing, in 2022, WDW announced it would be contributing nearly 80 acres of land into more than 1,300 units of attainable housing for Central Florida. There’s been talk, “but very little follow-through” on housing, the governor said at his press conference.

Disney is the largest taxpayer in the state with $1.46 billion in state and local taxes paid last year.

DeSantis had also scoffed at the fact that Disney has been allowed to do its own property assessment. The person said Disney does not assess its own property but that’s done annually by the Orange County tax assessor or the Osceola County tax assessor.

Must Read Stories

Fox News-Dominion Trial Pushed To Tuesday Amid Rumor Of Settlement Talks

‘Citadel’ Season 2 To Film In California; Amazon Series Among 7 To Secure State’s Tax Credits

No. 1 Of 2023 At $678M Global; $92M U.S. 2nd Weekend Record For Toon Film

Ahead Of Result, Studios Call WGA Strike Authorization Vote Ratification “Inevitable”

Read More About:

Source: Read Full Article