Florida governor sounds off on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ after eliminating the Reedy Creek Improvement District.
What is the ‘Reedy Creek Improvement District’? As summarized by Wikipedia:
The Reedy Creek Improvement District is the governing jurisdiction and special taxing district for the land of Walt Disney World Resort. It includes 39.06 sq mi (101.2 km2) within the outer limits of Orange and Osceola counties in Florida. It acts with the same authority and responsibility as a county government. It includes the cities of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, and unincorporated RCID land.
The district was created in 1967 after the Florida Government passed the Reedy Creek Improvement Act. The law was pushed for by Walt Disney and his namesake media company both before and after Walt’s death in 1966, during the planning stages of Walt Disney World.
In April 2022, the Florida Legislature passed a law abolishing the RCID, which critics claimed arose from Disney’s opposition to the Parental Rights in Education Act (which critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay Bill”). The law takes effect in June 2023, at which time the RCID would be dissolved. [. . .]
Walt Disney knew that his plans for the land would be easier to carry out with more independence. Among his ideas for his Florida project was his proposed EPCOT, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, which was to be a futuristic planned city (and which was also known as Progress City). He envisioned a real working city with both commercial and residential areas, but one that also continued to showcase and test new ideas and concepts for urban living.
Therefore, the Disney company petitioned the Florida State Legislature for the creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which would have almost total autonomy within its borders.
Residents of Orange and Osceola Counties did not need to pay any taxes unless they were residents of the district. Services like land use regulation and planning, building codes, surface water control, drainage, waste treatment, utilities, roads, bridges, fire protection, emergency medical services, and environmental services were overseen by the district. The only areas where the district had to submit to the county and state would be property taxes and elevator inspections. The planned EPCOT city was also emphasized in this lobbying effort. [. . .]
In January 1990, the RCID was granted a $57-million allocation of tax-free state bonds over an agency with plans for a low-income housing development and all additional government applicants in a six-county region, as the state distributed the bond proceeds on a first-come order. Disney was criticized for the move, with a Republican gubernatorial candidate filing a lawsuit to stop the RCID from using the funds. Also, one state legislator moved to limit the RCID’s ability to apply for the program.