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The Florida Legislature votes to dissolve special districts, including Disney

The newly painted Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is seen with the the crest to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the theme park Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista.
John Raoux
/
AP
The newly painted Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is seen with the the crest to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the theme park Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista.

The Florida House of Representatives has given final passage to a bill to dissolve a private government that Walt Disney World has been allowed to operate on its properties for more than five decades.

House lawmakers approved the measure on Thursday.

The passage is a victory for Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. He has lashed back at the entertainment giant after it publicly declared its opposition to a new law backed by the governor that critics have dubbed “Don’t Say Gay.”

The Disney bill would eliminate the self-governed districts by June 2023.

But it does allow the districts to be reestablished in the future, leaving the door open for further negotiations.

It also could have huge tax implications for Disney, whose series of theme parks have over the decades transformed Orlando into one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.

Prior to the vote, Democrats warned that the move could cause local homeowners to get hit with big tax bills.

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