To the Editor:
When Disney CEO Bob Chapek said he’d support the repeal of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, a measure critics call ‘Don’t Say Gay,'” as NPR’s Greg Allen reported. “At the time, DeSantis said he believed Disney had ‘crossed the line.'” All who are proponents of free speech must back Disney in the dispute. Additionally, this is obviously a case of DeSantis using his office to address his personal vendetta and his political ambitions.
Removing the special district status will cost Floridians in increased taxes. The Florida Senate’s own financial impact analysis of the bill states that in most cases when a county takes over a special district, it “shall also assume all indebtedness of the preexisting special district.” In Disney’s case, that could put local governments on the hook for about $1 billion in bond debt. Citing an interview with Randolph, Danielle Prieur of member station WMFE in Orlando reports, “homeowners here could see property taxes jump by 20% to make up the difference. And even then, it probably wouldn’t be enough to cover all the money that would be lost.”
The changes won’t come into force until next summer, on June 1, 2023. The delayed effect allows DeSantis to reap the political gains immediately, while the financial repercussions to Floridians are delayed until DeSantis has moved on so that he will not be held accountable.