walt disney company The company is not the only company in Florida to operate within the district, Chief Executive Bob Iger warned investors Wednesday.
The Daytona Speedway and retirement community The Villages are located in two of the state’s nearly 2,000 special districts, and won’t be under the kind of scrutiny Disney experienced last year, he said. pointed out that it was not
“The lawsuit we filed last month has made our position and facts very clear,” he said on an earnings call. “And it’s really only about one thing, and that’s retaliation against us for taking a stand on pending legislation.”
The battle began last year when Disney opposed a Florida bill that critics called “don’t say gay” that would limit classroom discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity.
DeSantis’ office told CNBC, referring to the governor’s earlier comments.
“There can be no situation where one company decides to outsource work against the will of the people, even though Congress said so,” the governor said. said in an interview with Newsmax on Friday. “At the end of the day, they have to understand that the party is over for them.”
DeSantis, who is expected to run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, trails fellow Florida resident Donald Trump in second place in preliminary polls.
Disney expanded a federal lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis earlier this week, accusing Republican leaders of doubling down on a “retaliation campaign” against the company by signing a bill voiding Disney’s development contract in Orlando. .
Disney’s amended lawsuit also noted that the Republican-led Florida legislature passed a bill last week targeting Walt Disney World’s monorail system.
Iger referred to a “false narrative” that Disney was fighting DeSantis to protect the district’s tax cut. The company is the largest taxpayer in central Florida, paying more than $1.1 billion in state and local taxes last year, he said.
“And we all know there was no concerted effort to dismantle what was once called the Reedy Creek Special District until we spoke out on the bill,” he said. . “So while the rest of Florida’s special districts continue to operate essentially as usual, this is clearly a matter of retaliation.”
Iger said if the state’s goal is to “level the playing field,” this oversight needs to apply to all boroughs.
“And I think it’s also important to say that our main goal has always been to be able to continue doing exactly what we’ve been doing in Florida: investing in Florida,” he added. “We certainly didn’t want, and certainly didn’t expect, to find ourselves in a position to defend our business interests in federal court, especially after more than 50 years of great relationships with the state. rice field.”
Iger said Disney plans to spend more than $17 billion in investments in Walt Disney World over the next 10 years, which will create about 13,000 jobs for the company and add another to Florida. He said there would be a lot of taxes. The company currently employs over 75,000 people in the region.