According to an article on Bloomberg, Florida’s Division of Bond Finance, Ben Watkins, says that Florida lawmakers will likely reestablish the special Walt Disney World district that allowed the company to govern specific municipal functions such as trash collection and emergency services for the property among other things.
You might recall that earlier this year, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that will dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District on July 1, 2023. Many critics of the bill saw it as “retribution for Disney’s critique of a DeSantis-backed law that restricted discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in public schools.”
No additional information was provided regarding what would take place with important items, like existing debt, after the bill was abruptly passed back in April, although DeSantis has since stated that the existing debt would not be passed on to surrounding counties.
According to Watkins, “the new district will have identical powers to collect revenue and levy taxes so that the bonds wouldn’t be impacted.” Watkins added that Governor DeSantis’ office has been “supportive” of the successor district. Of course, Florida lawmakers will ultimately have the final say on how any new legislation would be drafted.
Watkins stated that he is “confident that Reedy Creek will get addressed in a more meaningful way and that the debt will be transferred and assumed by — with the same terms and conditions — the successor entity.”