The political controversy surrounding Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID) is far from over in Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that will dissolve RCID, which is a special district that essentially allows Disney World to operate as its own county.
The nature by which the bill to dissolve RCID was passed has been criticized by some, and others worry that the change will place a heavy burden on taxpayers in the counties where Disney World is located. As a result of the bill passing, some taxpayers decided to take legal action by suing Gov. DeSantis. Now we’ve got another update on this saga.
Several taxpayers decided to sue Gov. DeSantis over the dissolution of the RCID, stating that the law was passed in haste, it could leave counties with huge amounts of bond debt, and it violated Disney’s First Amendment Rights since the bill was signed in retribution to Disney’s statements against Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, a federal judge has “quickly dismissed a lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis over the dissolution of Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District.” This specific suit was filed by a Miami lawyer and Democratic candidate for the US Senate, William Sanchez, who is representing 3 residents of Orange and Osceola counties (where Disney World is located).
This lawsuit was based on the claim that Florida was violating the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (a Florida law) in addition to “a contractual obligation with Reedy Creek’s bondholders and Disney’s First Amendment rights.”
The judge stated that the suit was dismissed because the law doesn’t actually go into effect until July of 2023 and the federal court doesn’t have jurisdiction over state issues. In addition, the judge said that the plaintiffs “do not plausibly allege they have suffered any concrete injury as a result of the alleged violation of Disney’s First Amendment rights.”
The judge further stated that the new law “does not apply” to the Plaintiffs, and they don’t claim any direct harm as a result of its passing. Since the tax increase hasn’t yet happened (and Governor DeSantis claims such an increase will not happen, though he hasn’t explained how that would work yet), the judge says that “the bill does not apply to the Plaintiffs at all.”
The lawyer representing the Plaintiffs has stated that he will refile. He wrote, “This is just the beginning of the battle, as we are attempting to achieve justice for Florida taxpayers” (Orlando Sentinel).
Check out the links below to learn more about this story:
- NEWS: Taxpayers Sue Florida Governor for Dissolving Disney World’s Reedy Creek District
- Senators Discuss Replacement Options for Disney World’s Reedy Creek District
- State Governor Suggests “Mountain Disneyland” following Florida’s Threat to Disney’s Self Governance
- Florida Governor Signs Bill to Dissolve Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District
We’ll keep looking out for more updates on this developing story, so stay tuned with DFB for all the latest information.