ORLANDO, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis officially signed legislation on Friday to dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District, Disney World’s private government.
The special tax district was approved by the Florida state legislature in 1967. It’s been unchanged since then.
Rep. Randy Fine was the Republican sponsor of the bill in the Florida House that dissolved the district. He said it was time for a change.
“Look, maybe this was a good idea to do in 1967 but there’s a lot of things we allowed in 1967 that we don’t allow today,” said Rep. Fine, who represents part of Brevard County. “Ironically, gay marriage wasn’t allowed in 1967. Perhaps the people who disagree with what we’re doing and say we should stick to laws from the 1960s want to think about that one for a minute.”
Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph said Thursday that taxes are likely to go up in his county by 15 to 20 percent because of the act.
“If Reedy Creek gets dissolved, it doesn’t get transferred to Orange County – it just goes away. It disappears – $163 million just disappears,” said Randolph, a Democrat.
But Rep. Fine said the tax collector is wrong.
“Maybe he should focus on collecting taxes,” Fine said. “He’s really not the one who decides on what they are. He’s basically the guy you send your money to in an envelope.”
The legislation to dissolve Reedy Creek goes into effect in 2023. Fine said things could change by then.
“Look, we may reconstitute Reedy Creek in some form or fashion next year. That could happen, as well as these other five districts, but the fact of the matter is, some of the powers that were given in 1967 were just crazy,” he said.