A big update about the future of Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District (“RCID”) could be on the way soon.
The RCID — which essentially functions as its own county and has given Disney a large amount of control over the land on which it operates in Orlando — is set to be dissolved on June 1st, 2023 due to a law passed by the Florida legislature. A spokesperson for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis previously indicated that he expects a bill related to the RCID to be discussed next week in a special legislative session and now we’ve got another update on the situation.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Governor DeSantis has shared an important update about what will replace Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District.
Though he hasn’t shared many details regarding how the setup will actually work, reportedly a bill that will give the state of Florida control over the RCID is in the works. When the bill would be introduced or voted on has not been confirmed, but a spokesperson DeSantis did indicate that he expects a special session will take place next week on the RCID.
At a news conference in Tallahassee DeSantis said, “We’re not going to have a corporation controlling its own government…That’s going to be reverted to the state. I’d rather it be the local [governments], but I don’t think that they’re prepared for it. So the state is going to have a board to run it.”
He also shared that the state would make sure “there are no special legal privileges and that they’re abiding by the same laws. That will be in the bill. And then making sure they’re paying their fair share of taxes and paying the debt.”
DeSantis also insisted, once again, that this arrangement would not raise local taxes in Orange or Osceola County. Last year, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings had said that removing the RCID’s self-governing status would be “catastrophic” for local taxpayers.
Up until now, the RCID has paid all of the necessary bills for its law enforcement, 911 call center, and fire services. But that, at least in part, relies on the RCID’s ability to impose its own property taxes — it can actually impose property taxes at a rate that’s much higher than other cities and counties. (Bloomberg Tax)
Keep in mind that Disney has already been paying taxes to local counties. In an interview with Disney Food Blog, Dr. James Clark, a political analyst and senior lecturer at the University of Central Florida Department of History, said “the special district does not exempt Disney from paying property taxes.”
He continued, “Disney is Central Florida’s largest taxpayer, paying nearly $300 million per year in property taxes to Orange and Osceola counties, as well as about $250 million in other state taxes.
If other counties had to assume many of the roles the RCID now performs, they would be doing it without any real expanded income. How this new state-created Board changes things remains to be seen. But perhaps it will essentially function as a replacement of the RCID, simply with a state-controlled rather than Disney-controlled board.
Interestingly, UCF Professor Aubrey Jewett previously indicated that Disney, as the sole landowner in the District, may have to agree to certain new terms. So we’ll have to see just how that relates to this development.
It looks like more news about Reedy Creek could be coming very soon, so stay tuned for all of the latest updates.
Click here to hear from Reedy Creek District leaders about the impending dissolution
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What do you think will ultimately happen with the Reedy Creek Improvement District? Tell us in the comments.
DeSantis acts like Disney isn’t paying their fair share when they pay for everything in the district now. He is so delusional that he doesn’t even understand the simplest things.
THOMAS TUCCI says
DeSantis should be know as
“ InSantis” Disney has done so much to the Reedy Creek community: much of the upscale infrastructure round Disney World is largely due to Disney!
Disney has contributed much to the schools and taxes that are part of the surrounding community!
There’s a price on everything. The stance Disney has taken in last 2 years has proven many flaws in the direction Disney has taken. Family’s go to enjoys the “aw” Disney’s provides without the added BS. Disney has been an icon go back to the “ kid friendly, family ordinates” Walt Disney intended it to be.
Have fun with this one Florida. Once again DeSantis is having a tantrum because someone dared to call him out. Now he will be costing his taxpayers money. Disney payed property taxes on top of paying for their own infrastructure. Great deal for the surrounding counties. Can’t wait to see what happens next. Pass my Figment popcorn bucket.
“We’re Not Going to Have a Corporation Controlling Its Own Government”
So what about all the other 1,800 special districts in Florida? Cleary this a personal abuse of power by this angry little man who wants to be King, aka the President.
The second paragraph of this article says the bill will be discussed “next week…” when was this article published? When is next week?
Paul Mollan says
Sounds like the Gov and state legislators didn’t think this thing through before imposing political retribution on the states #1 taxpayer.
So from the article, it sounds like DeSantis is on a tirade and isn’t thinking about the strain this will cause on other communities who have to pick up the tab for Disney’s community bills without any new income. I was hoping he would take a breath and calm down, but….oh well. Maybe he will rethink in the future?
DFB Gigi says
Hi! This article was posted on February 1st, 2023.
Barbara K says
So, DeSantis bullies again! This time to Disney just because they called him out! What a childish little man he is! Reedy Creek has been with us here in Florida for 55 years and look what they have done for the state of Florida. They basically put us Floridians on the map and boosted our economy in so many ways. Reedy Creek rocks! The upkeep of the area in Disney World is amazing. They have their own fire department, police, road maintenance, water, sewer, garbage etc. and all so well run and maintained. Once DeSantis and his cronies would get their hands on it, there goes the neighborhood! Disney pays their taxes for all of this and then some. I fear this burden of taxes will be put on the taxpayers In the counties surrounding Disney. DeSantis wants to assign his own cronies to control what Reedy Creek currently does. We here in Florida don’t need this small little man who wants everyone to agree with him on everything to have control of Disney. He got married in Disney World for Pete’s sake!! Hypocrite that he is! He is ruling our beautiful state like a dictator and wants us all to agree with his rule. Sorry, not ME!! I didn’t vote for him and never would ever. Not even for dogcatcher!! LOL! Petty little Ron. Give Reedy Creek back to Disney on June 1st 2023!!
So not sure why this is popping up as new a week later, but basically, RCID is getting rebranded and the governor gets to appoint people to the board.
They also have a couple of years to “rebrand” – and by then, Desantis will be gone if he’s running for POTUS.
It’s all to allow him to claim he “won” without actually changing anything of substance.