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The Villages
Friday, July 1, 2022

Let Disney pay its fair share

To the Editor:

I am amazed at the lack of common sense from the commentators on this web site that believe the debts of Reedy Creek (special government agreement) would ever transfer to the citizens of Florida. Reedy Creek has enjoyed avoidance of all the laws that every other citizen of Florida must live by. It survives as the only agreement of this type in the state. They will always be responsible for their debt. Reedy Creek is its own government and therefore ignores all the rules that apply to all of us like, zoning, building codes, safety and health inspections, business licenses and yes – IMPACT FEES. Did it ever occur to anyone that if Disney had to pay IMPACT FEES for all the improvements that Orange, Osceola and all of the other counties have had to make, the taxpayers may have much lower taxes than they do now. Can you imagine the amount of improvements in those two counties alone that have benefited the Reedy Creek Improvement District over all these years? Come on man! It may have been mutually beneficial when Florida allowed it to occur in 1967 but then why did Osceola County have to sue for millions to get, yes you guessed it IMPACT FEES! Businesses in an environment as expansive as Florida, at this time, are creating tremendous need for improvements to meet and keep up with the tremendous growth we are experiencing. It comes down to who should pay for this need. Orlando Airport, Orlando Sanford Airport etc. all experiencing huge growth. Millions for highway improvements across the state. Local communities are forced to add police, schools, parks, fire, water and sewer. They are moving in and demanding services. Are these visitors coming to your house or are they visiting Disney and all the other amusement parks in Florida? It really is a simple question regarding who should pay – existing residents or the new residents demanding all of the new services. For me the question is answered in two parts: there are improvements needed to upgrade existing facilities, and modernize, and then there are improvements needed to accommodate new growth. The new growth needs should be paid by those who cause the need – the new businesses and new residents expanding across Florida. And that is why the Florida Legislature created IMPACT FEES and forced local authorities to access them, reserve them in special funds and pay for these improvements. But the state should not have limited the ability of local authorities to collect the necessary fees. If any legislation needs to be repealed it is the law limiting IMPACT FEES! Let Disney pay its fair share and not tell our state government what laws it can and cannot pass when they avoid most of it in the first place. Or, does Disney have a school in Reedy Creek we don’t know about? No corporation, that has no vote, should threaten any duly elected state legislature which is what Disney did – they threatened to reverse a law passed by the Florida State Legislature. Let’s see how they like paying their fair share – like all of the rest of us! My two cents.

Robert Nyce
Village of El Cortez

 

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