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Things We Saw Today: Republicans’ Disney Tantrum Could Put Floridians Over $1 Billion in Debt

Plus Robert Morse, Dungeons & Dragons, and more!

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL: Cinderella Castle inside the Magic Kingdom Park is lit purple and gold in honor of the Los Angeles Lakers winning the 2020 NBA Final on October 11, 2020 at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by David Roark/Disney Resorts via Getty Images)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is waging a war against Disney that could cost Floridians over $1 billion in municipal debt. DeSantis’s attack on Disney, his state’s largest private employer, has sped through a special legislative session, with the republican majorities in both the state House and the Senate voting to to end Walt Disney World’s special district privileges. The privileges are part of the 1967 “Reedy Creek Improvement District” which allows Disney to operate as an independent government around its Orlando-area theme parks. This means that Disney World functions as its own government, with its own infrastructure that includes a fire department, a sheriff’s office, waste management, etc. It also ensures that Disney can build and expand on their land without state approvals and bureaucratic red tape.

Disney pays handsomely for these privileges, to the tune of over $1 billion dollars in taxes to the state. But now that these rights are about to be rescinded, that debt will likely be passed onto the residents of the adjoining counties. And here I thought Republicans were the party of low taxes.

Democratic state Rep. Fentrice Driskell told CNN, “It’s going to cost the government in Orange County and Osceola Counties and therefore the tax payers billions of dollars, I’m talking an additional tax burden that’s estimated $2,200 to $2,800 per family.”

And all because Ron DeSantis is furious that Disney spoke out against their anti-gay and anti-trans “Don’t Say Gay” bill. And by “spoke out” we mean that Disney initially funded the legislators who wrote the bill, and had to be guilted into doing the right thing by their rightfully outraged employees. Does DeSantis not realize that this bill passed? He clearly doesn’t care about tanking the state’s most successful industry or putting a massive tax burden on his constituents. DeSantis is clearly enraged that Disney won’t join his gay and trans villainization campaign, and he’s taking it out on the people who voted for him. Sounds about right-wing.

(via CNN, featured image: David Roark/Disney Resorts via Getty Images)

  • Janelle Monáe announced that she is non-binary. (via NBC News)
  • The largest subreddit of Amazon workers has banned the word “union”. (via Vice)
  • U.S. Supreme Court allows Puerto Rico’s exclusion from welfare program. (via Reuters)
  • The Dungeons & Dragons movie is coming!
  • Netflix cancels their animated adaptation of the Jeff Smith comic Bone. (via Comicbook.com)
  • Elon Musk trying to buy Twitter continues to be a thing, sigh. (via NPR)
  • RIP Broadway and ‘Mad Men’ star Robert Morse, who passed away at 90. (via Variety)

Happy Thursday, Mary Suevians!

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, son, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.