DeSantis To Take Control of Disney’s Orlando District Under New Legislation
Florida gave Walt Disney close to self-government when it let the company form the Reedy Creek Improvement District in 1967. New legislation wrests control from Disney for municipal services and invests power in a new version of the district, which will be led by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL).
The 1967 RCID legislation gave Disney the power to set taxes for its properties covering 25,000 acres of central Florida near Orlando. It was given power to oversee land use and environmental protections, provide public services like fire protection, water treatment, wastewater services, electrical power, trash collection and EPCOT building code regulation.
Critics contend the self-government and lack of state regulation that other businesses are subject to gave the House of Mouse an unfair economic advantage. Environmental Impact Statements, for example, may take up to years for companies subject to state oversight. Disney, on the other hand, did not need a princess to wave her magic wand because the RCID was even more powerful in regulatory matters.