Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has announced a new round of action against Disney in an ongoing dispute with the entertainment giant. The governor is examining the taxes on Disney’s hotels and imposing tolls on roads that serve its theme parks. In addition, the DeSantis administration is scrutinizing a recent agreement approved by a Central Florida board that had been controlled by Disney, to determine if it violates the state’s growth laws.
DeSantis said during a Thursday appearance:
“They are not superior to the people of Florida. So come hell or high water we’re going to make sure that policy of Florida carries the day. And so they can keep trying to do things. But ultimately we’re going to win on every single issue involving Disney I can tell you that.”
“They tried to pull a fast one on the way out the door. That story’s not over yet. Buckle up. There’s more coming down the pike.”
According to senior administration officials, one of the state’s laws explicitly states that development agreements must comply with laws even if the law is passed after the agreement was executed.
The tension between Disney and DeSantis follows a recent move by a Central Florida governing board that had been controlled by Disney to pass a series of agreements that ensured the company would retain significant power, despite a new law passed in February that created a new board controlled by the governor. The DeSantis administration and the governor’s hand-picked board were shocked by the move and have hired lawyers to examine the legality of the agreements.
However, DeSantis’ remarks on Thursday evening indicate that more immediate actions are pending. The governor also stated that the new district he appointed would explore developing property adjacent to Disney’s property. He further claimed that the Florida Legislature was prepared to void the development agreement that had been approved by the outgoing board.