A group of Central Florida taxpayers are suing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over a recently signed law that would dissolve Walt Disney World’s Reedy Creek special district.
The group are suing for two reasons. Firstly, they believe the obligations of Disney under that district will be passed on to area taxpayers (a fear echoed by Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings). They also think that Disney’s First Amendment rights were violated when the state passed a law they admitted was punishing Disney for its criticism of the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law.
Michael Foronda, Edward Foronda and Vivian Gorsky are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, and they claim they. have standing because they will be on the hook for the district’s former obligations. The lawsuit argues the end of Reedy Creek would “move these major regulatory burdens unto the county, thereby increasing the Plaintiff’s taxes, and will cause significant injury to plaintiffs.”
They claim the actions of the governor are a violation of protected First and 14th Amendment rights. They ask that the law be declared unconstitutional.
“The stated and undisputed reason behind the bill is to punish Disney World and subsequently Florida taxpayers,” the complaint reads. “Even though the Governor and certain Republican lawmakers welcome a fight with Disney on this matter, they appear to not want to follow constitutional guidelines and previous legally enforceable agreements involving over $1 billion in bond issuances.”
Disney has not spoken out on the issue publicly, but did tell investors that the district could not be dissolved without the state first taking on all of Disney’s bond obligations.
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