The Walt Disney Company owns Marvel Studios and Star Wars. But few know they own Florida's Governor's Mansion, too.
The Walt Disney Corporation is evicting Governor Ron DeSantis, and he has 30 days to vacate the governor’s mansion.
Lawyers from the Magic Kingdom served the eviction notice at 5 am local time. The half-asleep DeSantis had no idea what was going on.
“You can’t evict me! You don’t own this property!” he said to the lawyers and the small cadre of reporters they brought with them.
“Governor DeSantis, we are Disney. We own The Avengers, Darth Vader, and the hit song We Don’t Speak About Bruno,” Chief Legal Counsel Andrew Canard Esq. said. “And we own Florida’s Governor Mansion.”
DeSantis took the legal papers and slammed the door. He yelled out from inside he was going to call the police if the intruders didn’t get off his property. The Disney representatives informed the Governor that Mickey Mouse owns them, too.
The lawyers and reporters walked to the sidewalk. Mr. Canard informed the press that Walt Disney originally owned the land where the government wanted to build housing for the chief executive of Florida. Mr. Disney agreed to build the mansion to the state’s specifications and then lease the property to them for 100 years.
“It’s not uncommon for large buildings like supermarkets to have very long leases,” Canard said. “It’s also common for the renter to agree to certain terms and conditions. One of those conditions is not to be a jerk.”
It’s no surprise that Disney is striking back against DeSantis. The Governor recently signed into law revoking Disney’s special status in Florida. However, the measure looks like it’s going to cost taxpayers.
Tax experts and legislators say eliminating the district could have unintended consequences for county taxpayers. Disney’s special tax district status allows the company to levy an additional tax on itself to pay for municipal services, something that other counties cannot do. That tax currently amounts to $105 million per year, said Orange County tax collector Scott Randolph. Reedy Creek also receives additional revenue of nearly $60 million from Disney to pay its bond debt.
Sunsetting Reedy Creek means that local counties will begin paying for those services without that special status in place. Taxpayers will likely be left to foot the bill for potholes and emergency services.
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