Florida set to strip Disney of self-governing status

STORY: Florida legislators on Thursday passed a bill to revoke Walt Disney’s special tax status in a move widely seen as retaliation for the company's opposition to a new state law limiting discussion of LGBTQ issues in schools.

The Republican-led state House voted 70-to-38 to do away with a special tax district.

The Bill already passed the Senate.

It now heads to the desk of Governor Ron DeSantis, who is all but guaranteed to sign it.

The special tax status allowed Disney to self-govern the roughly 25,000-acre Orlando area where its Disney World theme park complex is located.

It made Disney, one of the state's largest private employers, and other landowners responsible for providing services such as fire fighting, power, water and roads. In turn, Disney got some tax relief.

The change would go into effect in June 2023.

DeSantis, a Republican who is a potential candidate for his party's 2024 presidential nomination, moved to strip Disney of it's special status after the company opposed a new Florida law that bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity for young students.

The governor signed the legislation, dubbed the "don't say gay" bill by opponents, last month.

The law, which is to go into effect on July 1, also prohibits such teaching that "is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate" for older students, is being challenged in court.

Disney declined to comment.

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