SANFORD, Fla. — While at an event at Seminole State College Monday morning, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that he plans for the state to assume control of the recently dissolved Reedy Creek Improvement District, rather than local governments.
What You Need To Know
- The Florida Legislature recently passed a bill that would dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District in June of 2023
- Some people have warned that the cost of dissolving the district would be immense for local governments
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that he wants the state to take over the district and claimed that local taxpayers would not have to pay for Disney's debts or obligations
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has said dissolving Reedy Creek — which was established by the Florida Legislature in 1967 to allow Disney World to self-govern — would be catastrophic for the county budget.
Republican lawmakers never conducted an economic study of the impacts of dissolving the district before passing it in a three-day special session last month.The specialty district is currently set to dissolve in June of 2023.
When asked Monday, DeSantis said local taxpayers will not be responsible for the nearly $1 billion of debt that Reedy Creek currently holds.
While explaining his plan for the state to take over the district, he said that the debt would remain Disney's responsibility, but didn’t give any details on exactly how this would happen, other than to say that lawmakers are working on proposals for after the November election.
- Dissolving Reedy Creek Impacts Hundreds Of First Responders
- Reedy Creek holds first meeting since law to dissolve the district was signed into law
- DeSantis tells town hall that he plans to make Disney pay for Reedy Creek debts
- Taxpayers likely to see taxes jump if Reedy Creek is dissolved, Central Florida state senators say
“Even though there are ways where you could potentially have local communities absorb jurisdiction over Disney, after seeing them threaten to raise taxes on their citizens, we are not in a situation where we are just going to be giving them locally control," DeSantis said. "More likely that the state will simply assume control and make sure that we are able to impose the law and make sure that we impose the law."
The governor emphasized it is not just the Reedy Creek district that the state is dealing with, it just happens to be the one with the highest profile.
He said there are a handful of other special districts that he called unacceptable. DeSantis said some of those might just go away, some could be amended or some could be reauthorized.
When it comes to Reedy Creek, though, he said that going forward, the Walt Disney Company will not control its own government in the state of Florida.