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Gov. Ron DeSantis not changing stance on Disney's Reedy Creek district

DeSantis appeared on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" where he addressed a number of issues, including reinstated Disney CEO Bob Iger's comments on the saga.
Credit: AP
Florida's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a televised debate against Democratic opponent Charlie Crist, at Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce, Fla., Monday, Oct. 24, 2022.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

ORLANDO, Fla. — After reports surfaced that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis could be rethinking his plan to dissolve Disney's Reedy Creek district, a spokesperson for the governor called "fake news."

"Fake news. @GovRonDeSantis doesn’t make 'u-turns,'" Taryn Fenske, a spokesperson for DeSantis, said in a tweet late Friday morning.

The message was in response to a tweet by former state Rep. Anthony Sabatini as he called it "sad to see weak-kneed GOP politicians get overpowered on this." Sabatini shared a Reuters report that claims Florida lawmakers are looking over plans to reverse the move to dissolve Disney's Reedy Creek. 

DeSantis' press secretary Bryan Griffin followed up with a tweet after Fenske, echoing her remarks.

".@GovRonDeSantis does not make 'U-turns,'" he said on Twitter. "The governor was right to champion removing the extraordinary benefit given to one company through the RCID. We will have an even playing field for businesses in Florida, and the state certainly owes no special favors to one company."

Financial Times and Reuters on Friday reported that the changes in Disney leadership prompted Republican lawmakers in Florida to consider altering the law, CBS News reports.

Disney and DeSantis are still at odds over the park's Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special taxing district that was allowed to "act the same authority and responsibility as a county government."

Per DeSantis' approval, the Reedy Creek district is set to be dissolved by June 2023.

The move could put millions of dollars of debt on local taxpayers and complicate the process for theme park expansion projects

"Obviously with Reedy Creek, the path forward is Disney will not control its own government in the state of Florida," DeSantis said in May. "Disney will have to follow the same law that every other company has to follow in the state of Florida. They will pay their fair share of taxes and they will be responsible for paying the debts."

The future of the Reedy Creed Improvement District is not the only area where DeSantis and Disney disagree.

The Florida governor appeared on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" this week where he addressed a number of issues, including recently-reinstated Disney CEO Bob Iger's comments on the saga. DeSantis hinted that Florida's feud with Disney over the "Parental Rights in Education Act" — dubbed "Don't Say Gay" by critics" — is far from over.

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