Disney stocks tumble 31% as it’s set to be stripped of its special privileges in Florida


Disney stocks continue its sharp decline as the company is set to rank among the worst-performing stocks in 2022.

On Friday Disney opened at $120.04 per share, down nearly a dollar from yesterday when it closed at $121.66 after it had opened at $125.50 per share.

The media conglomerate is continuing its free fall as experts reported the company was the worst-performing Dow Jones stock of the year, plummeting 31 percent over the last year, Operation Sunlight reported.  

Compared to the 30 companies that make up the Dow Jones, Disney’s stock has seen the sharpest decline with 31 percent, followed by industry goods company 3M, which is down 25 percent, and home goods company Home Depot, down 23 percent over the last year. 

Its a stark difference from a little over a year ago when Disney’s stock was at an all-time high, trading at nearly $200 per share in March 2021, but when the markets closed on Thursday the stock was trading at $121 per share, a dramatic 33 percent decrease. 

Disney’s financial meltdown comes in the midst of its ongoing war with Governor Ron DeSantis, which started when Disney bosses opposed the so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill and enraged the governor for weighing into politics.  

The bill bans any discussion pertaining to ‘sexual orientation’ or ‘gender identity’ in Florida schools for students in kindergarten through third grade.

It will become law on July 1, and teachers who breach its regulations can be sued by parents. 

On Friday Disney opened at $120.04 per share, down nearly a dollar from yesterday when it closed at $121.66 after it had opened at $125.50 per share

The media conglomerate is continuing its free fall as experts reported the company was the worst-performing Dow Jones stock of the year, plummeting 31 percent over the last year

The media conglomerate is continuing its free fall as experts reported the company was the worst-performing Dow Jones stock of the year, plummeting 31 percent over the last year

Florida lawmakers have voted to strip Disney of its special status as a self-governing area

DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education bill into law on March 28. The bill bans any discussion pertaining to 'sexual orientation' or 'gender identity' in Florida schools for students in kindergarten through third grade

DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education bill into law on March 28. The bill bans any discussion pertaining to ‘sexual orientation’ or ‘gender identity’ in Florida schools for students in kindergarten through third grade

Disney has come out strongly against the document and in March said it would suspend political donations in the state and added that it would in turn support organizations working to oppose the new law.  

DeSantis and his fellow Republicans have since lashed out at Disney, and in recent weeks DeSantis said he wanted to remove Disney’s protections, noting he doesn’t ‘support special privileges in law just because a company is powerful.’  

That came to pass on Thursday when the Florida House voted 68-38 to end the Reedy Creek Improvement District on Thursday, meaning Disney will no longer be able to operate as a self-contained government.   

DeSantis has previously issued support for the measure, saying during a fundraising pitch Wednesday: ‘Disney and other woke corporations won’t get away with peddling their unchecked pressure campaigns any longer. 

‘If we want to keep the Democrat machine and their corporate lapdogs accountable, we have to stand together now.’

The House on Thursday also approved a Senate-passed bill that removes Disney’s big tech censorship exemption.

On Thursday the Florida House voted 68-38 to end the Reedy Creek Improvement District

On Thursday the Florida House voted 68-38 to end the Reedy Creek Improvement District

The House passed the measure with a 68-38 vote Thursday. The legislation will now go to DeSantis' desk for signing and could potentially come into effect on June 1, 2023

The House passed the measure with a 68-38 vote Thursday. The legislation will now go to DeSantis’ desk for signing and could potentially come into effect on June 1, 2023

The newly-passed bill rips up the 55-year-old deal that allowed Disney to regulate land, enforce building codes and treat wastewater - and could cost the company millions in lost local taxes

The newly-passed bill rips up the 55-year-old deal that allowed Disney to regulate land, enforce building codes and treat wastewater – and could cost the company millions in lost local taxes

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Democratic Colorado Governor Jared Polis (Left) has accused GOP Florida Governor Ron De Santis’s (Right) government of ‘authoritarian and socialist attacks’ on private companies such as Disney and Twitter

Disney has come out strongly against the document, which forbids discussing homosexuality or transgender issues for children from kindergarten to third grade

Disney has come out strongly against the document, which forbids discussing homosexuality or transgender issues for children from kindergarten to third grade

Disney did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment on the changes and it remains unclear if the company will launch an appeal, but the vote sets up a potential legal battle between the state and the entertainment giant. 

Democratic Colorado Gov. Jared Polis spoke out against the bill, accusing DeSantis of using socialist tactics to control the private sector, and invited Disney to ditch the Sunshine State and move to Colorado. 

‘In CO, we don’t meddle in affairs of companies like @Disney or @Twitter,’ Polis tweeted on Tuesday. ‘Hey @Disney we’re ready for Mountain Disneyland and @Twitter we’re ready for Twitter HQ2, whoever your owners are.’ 

‘We will grant Mickey and Minnie full asylum in Colorado,’ the Democrat later wrote. 

Walt Disney’s ‘Magic Kingdom’: How 1967 law allowed the company to govern its vast Florida domain   

The Reedy Creek Improvement District, a semi-private, special-purpose government, is controlled by Disney and spans 39 square miles.

It was created in 1967 when then-Florida Gov. Claude Kirk, a Republican, signed into law the Reedy Creek Improvement Act authorizing it to regulate land use, enforce building codes, treat wastewater, control drainage, maintain utilities and provide fire protection at Disney World.

The district is governed a Board of Supervisors that is selected by its 19 landowners, the biggest and most influential of them being Disney World.

The district has the authority to tax the land, and use the revenue to provide essential public services and operate and maintain all public roads and bridges. 

Such private governments aren’t uncommon in Florida, which has more than 600 community development districts that manage and pay for infrastructure in new communities.

If the 1967 is repealed by GOP lawmakers, Disney World’s property will fall under the control of Orange and Osceola counties.  

Meanwhile, DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw decried Polis’ accusations of authoritarian attacks, saying that DeSantis has a deeper understanding of the ideology and its consequences as many Floridians have fled regimens of the sort. 

Pushaw invited Polis to ‘educate’ himself on what socialism is, hinting that he had used the term lightly to ‘weaponize baseless allegations.’

‘Socialism IS: an authoritarian system where the state controls the means of production and the entire economy,’ Pushaw said in a statement to Fox. 

‘Socialism is NOT: [p]assing legislation to create a more even playing field for all businesses [or] [s]elling shares of a corporation due to evidence that corporation is not acting in shareholders’ best interests and therefore creates unnecessary risks to investors.’ 

The newly-passed bill is set to rip up the 55-year-old deal that allowed Disney to regulate land, enforce building codes and treat wastewater – and could cost the company millions in lost local taxes.

Florida’s Orange and Osceola counties may also end up saddled with $1billion of debt currently owed by Walt Disney World. 

Reedy Creek Improvement District, as the Disney government is known, as well as a handful of other similar districts, will be eliminated by June 2023. 

The legislation does allow for the districts to be reestablished, leaving an avenue to renegotiate its future. 

‘There could be a financial fiasco for Orange County residents,’ Orange County tax collector Scott Randolph told Today. 

Randolph, a Democrat, said Reedy Creek funds more than $100 million in recurring costs and $1 billion debt obligation that now tax payers themselves will have to fund.

‘It would have to come from tax payers because the minute Reedy Creek doesn’t exist, that money doesn’t exist,’ he said. 

The Today Show calculated that an average Orange County home’s county taxes could climb upwards of 25 percent- resulting in a $250 increase in taxes per year for residents. 

Some lawmakers allege the dissolution of the district could cause significant financial hardship for the nearby Orange and Osceola counties, which house sections of Walt Disney World and Reedy Creek.

The counties, on June 1, 2023, would assume all of Reedy Creek’s assets and liabilities and become responsible for providing all of the services currently handled by the district, CNBC reported.

Currently, Disney finances the services supplied by Reedy Creek, which would normally be funded by local municipalities. The company, instead, charges itself property taxes to finance its service and pays the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement. 

Once Reedy Creek is dismantled, local taxpayers and municipalities would likely be responsible for those services.

‘Removing district could transfer $2billion debt from Disney to taxpayers and could potential have an enormous impact on Orange and Osceola residents!’ State Sen. Linda Stewart, who voted against the bill, tweeted Wednesday.

The creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, and the control it gave Disney over 27,000 acres in Florida, was a crucial element in the company’s plans to build near Orlando in the 1960s. 

Company officials said they needed autonomy to plan a futuristic city along with the theme park. The city never materialized, however; instead, it morphed into the Epcot theme park. 

Reedy Creek Improvement District encompasses the cities of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista and is home to fewer than 100 total residents. 

The district is run by a five-member Board of Supervisors who are elected by landowners, not city residents.

Reedy Creek oversees land use, environmental protections and provides essential service – such as fire protection, emergency medical services, water and sewage, waste management, drainage and flood control, electric power distribution, and more – to the two communities, according to the district’s website. Reedy Creek also maintains all roadways and bridges in the communities.

The powers granted by the privilege status were broad, making it easier for the company to move forward with large architectural projects such as the 183-foot tall Cinderella Castle.

It also left doors open for the possibility for Disney to build its own airport or nuclear power plant, if the company wanted to. 

Once Reedy Creek is dissolved, Disney would need to seek permission and approval from local governments to to proceed with construction projects.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk