Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has ended Disney's corporate and tax advantages over other Florida theme parks.
In a scheduled press conference at a local fire department in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Gov. DeSantis signed a measure— CS/HB 9B – Reedy Creek Improvement District, Orange and Osceola Counties— that would even the playing field for other amusement parks like Sea World and Universal Studios.
DeSantis downplayed the 2022 political brawl he had with Disney over the Parental Rights in Education law, as just a “little bit of a tussle.”
“Disney came out against something that was really just about protecting young kids and making sure that students are able to go to school learning to read, write, add and subtract and not having a teacher tell them that they could change their gender,” said Gov. DeSantis. “I think most parents agree with that but you know that was only a mild annoyance I think that what we came to realize after that dust settled on that was you clearly had a movement within the corporation itself.
“I'm a dad 6, 4, and two and my wife and I know parents throughout Florida we want our kids to be kids we want them to be able to enjoy entertainment school without having an agenda imposed upon them,” added DeSantis.
DeSantis made the case for transparency and fairness, citing that for far too long, Disney was given preferential and unfair treatment over other theme parks.
“How do you give one theme park its own government and then treat all the other theme parks differently,” asked DeSantis, adding, “So we believe that that was not good policy…now we're basically Disney's going to be treated like SeaWorld is treated or like any of these others and that's really the fair thing to do.”
In addition, DeSantis smacked down the narrative that Floridians would see their tax bills rise as a result of his signing the bill into law, adding that Disney would instead be paying “it’s fair share of taxes.”
“Disney really got a free ride on that now they can be taxed for that so if anything it's going to reduce the tax burden of people in Central Florida.”—Gov. Ron DeSantis
In his soon-to-be-release book, DeSantis stated that he had a private conversation with then-Disney CEO Bob Chapek, where the former Disney executive divulged that he all but caved to being “pressured” to change Disney’s social
Shortly before he signed the bill into law, DeSantis asked attended to look at their watches and take note at what time “the corporate kingdom came to an end.”