Conservative Ron DeSantis stripped the company of historic tax privileges. The conflict stems from a state law that prohibits the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity, which Disney criticized.
You A Florida agency that oversees the special tax district received by the Disney company decided to sue the company. Earlier The entertainment giant filed its lawsuit against life. it was named for Florida’s governor, Republican Ron DeSantis. The background is the ongoing “culture war” in America. DeSantis, a conservative and almost certain presidential candidate, enacted legislation against the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools. from Florida. this conservative approach It clashes with Disney’s editorial line, which publicly confronted it after a long silence. DeSantis then withdrew the tax privilege regime that Disney had enjoyed in Florida since 1967. It not only refers to the tax regime, but also Gives state management powers to the company Of the state.
“Since Disney sued us, we have no choice but to respond,” said Martin Garcia, chairman of the board of supervisors for the Central Florida Tourism Supervisory District. “Yes, we will seek justice in our backyard,” he said.
The dueling lawsuits come 14 months after rising tensions between Florida’s governor and Disney Por una Law Prohibiting the Teaching of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Florida schools. there will be a fight has intensified in recent months after the Republican president seized control of a “special tax district” who favors disney With generous cuts and regional control at the same level as the state, I Established a board to oversee the vast Disney holdings around Orlando, Before the board was elected in February, Disney had reached an agreement with the outgoing board that limited DeSantis’ power over appointments.
The new council voted last week to nullify the agreements that has led Disney to sue DeSantis and the new council. on demand, Disney accused DeSantis of using his political power to punish the company for exercising his right to free speech.
Garcia said the purpose of suing Disney is to “uphold and enforce” the board’s vote to nullify Disney’s covenants with the previous board.
claim will be filed in a florida state court Central, Garcia said. Disney sued DeSantis and the board in federal court of the Northern District of Florida. The judge in the case, Mark Walker, is an appointee of former President Barack Obama. This has ruled against the state on many of DeSantis’ priorities. DeSantis accused Disney of looking for a favorable judge.
The “tax district” was created in 1967. Gives control of the land to Disney where he was planning to build his theme park empire at the time including provision of services such as sewer, fire and highways, authentic Gives government control of the land to The Walt Disney Company. Over the next six decades, Disney turns Central Florida wetlands into one of the world’s most visited attractions, that special deal was protected by state politicians Both Disney and Florida benefit from the boom in tourism. But according to Garcia, times have changed and Disney is trying to prevent the state from terminating that agreement.
“In essence, Disney is asking a federal court to roll back the timeline to 1967 while this board is charged with the legislative task of bringing the district into the 21st century with new and improved policies and practices.” Garcia said.
In early March 2022, The Florida Senate, controlled by the Republican Party, approved a bill titled “Parental Rights in Education”, better known as “Don’t Say Gay”. There were 22 votes in favor and 17 votes against. The bill prohibits teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.
Under the law, school districts “Discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity may not be encouraged at the elementary grade levels or in a manner that is not age or developmentally appropriate for the students.” However, It is not clear what would be considered appropriate, “age” or “developmental”.
in this context, Disney, who was initially silent on the controversial project, has spoken out and the company’s CEO, Bob Chapek, He apologized for not talking earlier. Chapek initially stated that the company would not publicly denounce the proposal. However, some employees of the company They went on a brief protest strike.
Later, In protest of the passage of the Don’t Say Gay Act, Chapek announced that the company would stop making political donations in Florida. Afterwards have been contributing extensively for decades, mostly to Republican including DeSantis.
DeSantis strikes back
So, in the middle of April, Ron DeSantis escalated his feud with Disney, challenge to legislators Remove the special status that allows Disney to operate its Orlando-area theme parks as an independent government,
DeSantis, a Republican and potential 2024 presidential contender, signed the bill into law in March over objections. Disney, the largest private employer in Florida. After DeSantis signed, Disney said in a statement that its “goal” was to repeal the law. Or see him lose in court.
Florida’s governor said Disney “crossed the line” with that statement. and suggested in late March that They could enjoy the “special privileges” of the company.
The end of Disney’s special status
heavily driven by DeSantis, in the end The Florida legislature passed a series of bills that, among others, Remove the single condition allowing Disney to operate as an independent government at its Orlando area theme parks.
The law approved the removal of Reedy Creek because The special purpose district was created by state law in May 1967. This gives The Walt Disney Company government control of the land and surrounding of its theme parks. from central Florida. The district is located southwest of Orlando.
With the Special Purpose District, Disney assumed responsibility for providing municipal services such as electricity, water, roads and fire protection, But it was also freed from legal red tape pay taxes for services By which the general public will be benefited.