Florida v Disney: Amid Controversy Over LGBTQ Issues, Lawmakers Repeal Parks Tax Exemptions | World

Florida State House passed, by 70 votes to 38, a bill on Thursday that would revoke the self-governing status of the Walt Disney Co. The move is seen as retaliation for the company’s opposition to a new state law that limits discussion of LGBTQ issues in schools.

The bill now goes to Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk, who is expected to sign it. The change would take effect in June 2023.

The Republican-led State House ended the special fiscal district that allows Disney to self-govern an area of ​​about 25,000 acres in Orlando, where its Disney World theme park complex is located. The state Senate also approved the measure on Wednesday.

Cinderella’s Castle at Disney’s Magic Kindgom Theme Park — Photo: Getty Images

The law aims to eliminate a handful of special tax districts, including Orlando’s Reedy Creek Improvement District. Through this legal provision, Disney and other landowners in the state are granted tax and fee exemptions in exchange for assuming responsibility for the provision of public services such as firefighting and maintenance of energy, water and roads.

  • UNDERSTAND: ‘Disney crossed the line’; why the governor of Florida wants to change company status

DeSantis, a potential candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, wants to strike back at Disney for its opposition to a law banning classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity for students under the age of 9. The governor signed the legislation into law last month.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis changed the agenda of the special session to consider a bill that would end Disney’s “self-government” (Photo: Reuters)

Last month, the LGBTQ community questioned Disney for not publicly speaking out against the measure. Under pressure, the company condemned the legislation and announced that it would stop all political donations in Florida – which set off a firestorm of criticism from Republican lawmakers against Disney.

Disney did not respond to a request for comment on the decision.

October 1 is the anniversary of Disney World Theme Parks in Florida, USA

October 1 is the anniversary of Disney World Theme Parks in Florida, USA

About Abhishek Pratap

Food maven. Unapologetic travel fanatic. MCU's fan. Infuriatingly humble creator. Award-winning pop culture ninja.

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