The future of Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District hangs in the air, and with the official date of dissolution drawing closer every day, many are wondering what exactly will happen with its special tax status.
Disney has taken steps to secure parts of the district’s future after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and other state legislators voted to dissolve Reedy Creek (with DeSantis’ communications director later stating, “The corporate kingdom has come to an end”.) That hasn’t fazed district leaders are continuing with their everyday tasks — discussing various changes and improvements being made on Disney World property.
For those who may not be familiar with it, for over 50 years, Disney has essentially acted as its own county thanks to the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID). The district helps Disney, have majority control over its land. It gives Disney the ability to issue bonds, make decisions regarding building codes — you get the idea.
But, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis passed a law that will dissolve the RCID on June 1st, and we recently learned a bit more about his plan thanks to a public notice filing on the Osceola County website that originated in DeSantis’ office. The filing indicates they plan to “seek legislation before the Florida Legislature…of an act relating to the Reedy Creek Improvement District, Orange and Osceola Counties.”
The notice also mentions that the Governor would seek to:
- Revise “the selection process, membership qualifications, and compensation for the governing body of the District“
- Ensure “debts and bond obligations held by the District remain with the District and are not transferred to other governments by retaining the District’s authority related to indebtedness and taxation”
- Revise authority when it comes to local permitting and regulation
- Revise the regulatory framework and structure
- Review the district’s remaining powers and revise “exceptions to general law and certain special acts”
- Describe the district boundaries and name
- Set a date on which these policies will go into effect
But, Reedy Creek District leaders are still moving forward with plans, according to the Orlando Business Journal. District administrator John Classe stated, “We’re still business as usual because anything can change. Nothing is set in stone until it goes through the process and is started … we will just stay focused on our business day-to-day.”
Another leader, board chair Laurence C. Hames, said, “I’m just watching the process unfold like everyone else.”
At the latest RCID meeting on January 25th, leaders met to discuss ongoing projects at Disney World, like improvements being made to World Drive. This road connects several of Disney’s parks, hotels, and other resort areas.
Hames said the district plans to stay the course and conduct business as usual, sharing, “We don’t have a choice.”
For now, it sounds like RCID leaders are not letting the potential dissolution get in the way of making improvements to the district. We’ll continue to keep an eye on this situation for more updates — so stay tuned to DFB.
Click Here to Read More About Gov. DeSantis’ Plans for Reedy Creek
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