God, the Stupid Hot Takes on this on social media are just exhausting!
“Disney should just move!” Yeah…right. They should abandon their half century investment in billions of $ of infrastructure, roads, hotels, and of course the theme parks themselves, because a governor who got elected by about 30k votes is aiming to run for president as the even more ruthless Second Coming of Trump. That’s not going to happen. People saying that are just ignorant and should be ignored.
What does this Reedy Creek thing even mean? Florida has lots of special taxing districts. They have various purposes, but in the case of Reedy Creek, it means that Disney self-funds their infrastructure, like water and sewer and roads and trash collection and fire and rescue and a lot of other things, in exchange for a tax break. They still pay millions a year to the counties, they just do the operational infrastructure themselves and fund it by taxing Disney property through Reedy Creek. They do it in a partnership with the counties where they own property, which is why you may see Orange County deputies with radar guns on Western Way, which is the back way into WDW off the 429. (Pro Tip: PAY ATTENTION to that speed limit drop to 35 as you get closer to the signage for the resorts/parks.)
Anyway, and ahem. The point: Disney doesn’t take a lot of services from the counties, because the counties couldn’t possibly cover all the expense of running Disney infrastructure without massively raising taxes on everybody else. Disney still pulls county building permits and stuff, that’s how people on the Disney media beat keep track of new development. It’s not a secretive corporate cabal, doing mysterious things. They pick up their own trash and manage their own wastewater and stuff via contracts, and it’s complicated but way cheaper than shifting that burden to the counties where WDW sits.
This isn’t a weird thing unique to Disney, a lot of large developments have similar taxing structures. The Villages has the same kind of deal, but because it’s very Republican friendly nobody’s considering taking it away. If you’re a big developer going in to develop thousands of acres this is actually the way it gets approved, because the counties are not going to approve expanding water and sewer and roads and stuff for land that isn’t going to be able to pay it back for decades.
Disney does it next level, because Reedy Creek is actually a legal entity that runs its own fire and rescue service and sewers and other services. It’s basically a municipality. My former neighbor worked for RCFD, he may be retired by now, but anyway, this is not some secret corporate tax dodge thing, and anyone who says so should be ignored, along with the dipshits saying “Disney should just move!” These are people who have NO idea how huge WDW is, and are picturing a Six Flags or something. Yeah, Disney World won’t be going anywhere. DeSantis, OTOH….
And why is this happening now? Oh, no, it’s not because Disney pushed back on the “Don’t Say Gay” Republican idiocy. Not that this is also not a real and infuriating thing that will be challenged in court, but the timing was just the distraction. This was the real agenda: