He said the legislature would address the legality and any potential tax fallout from the state’s recent move to erase Disney’s self-governing status. DeSantis spoke during “City Hall” from Orlando hosted by Laura Ingraham on Fox News.
“There will be additional legislative action,” DeSantis said. “We’ve thought about it. We know what we’re going to do, so stay tuned. It’s all going to be clear.”
Disney has not made any direct public statements about the new law dissolving Reddy Creek. The law is only two pages long and avoids any discussion of the details of how to resolve half a century of infrastructure deals, nor does it specify the next steps in the complex process.
Some officials and residents of neighboring Orange and Osceola counties fear they will stumble on an annual $163 million tax bill if Reddy Creek goes too far.
“Disney pays the same taxes” as anyone in Orange County, as well as property taxes to Reddy Creek for services around Disney properties, such as emergency services and road works, Orange County tax collector Scott Randolph told CNN.
“One side of the ledger will say zero and the other side will say negative $163 million” against Orange County if Reddy Creek is cancelled, Randolph said.
Ingraham asked DeSantis if “This [could] Ending up backfiring on the people of Florida? “
DeSantis said, “Disney will pay its debts. Disney will, for the first time, actually live under the same laws as everyone else in Florida. Imagine that.”
During City Hall, Ingraham asked if “Reddy Creek’s characterization of the law was inaccurate.”
DeSantis said the legislature has time to pursue the new law before Reddy Creek is dissolved.
Earlier on Thursday, his press secretary said it would take “a few weeks” before announcing a plan to ensure taxpayers do not suffer from changes to Disney’s status.
She said the plan would ensure that Disney, the state’s largest private employer, would pay its fair share of taxes.
Reedy Creek is a special purpose area created by state law in May 1967 that grants The Walt Disney Co extensive government control of land in and around its Central Florida theme parks.
In her tweet, Pushaw said that Florida residents, including residents of Orange and Osceola counties, would not be in the trouble of Disney taxes and the abolition of the special zone would not cause a tax increase for any residents of any Florida area.
In a letter to bondholders, Reddy Creek said that the 1967 law also contained a state undertaking that Florida “will not in any way prejudice the rights or remedies of the (bond) holders…even all such bonds along with the interest thereon.” , and all costs and expenses in connection with any act or action by or on behalf of such owners, shall be fully met and discharged.”
DeSantis said Florida would not see any tax increases due to the Reedy Creek dissolution law and insisted that Disney would pay its “fair share” of taxes. He laid out the law as “the first step in what will be a process to ensure that Disney should not run its own government”.
CNN’s Jamil Lynch and Laila Santiago contributed to this report.