Ron DeSantis Approves $40 Million Tax Break for Disney

Ron DeSantis Disney Fireworks
Credit: Inside the Magic

Governor Ron DeSantis continues his bill-signing spree by ensuring that The Walt Disney Company will double its charitable tax breaks to a whopping $40 million.

A man in a blue suit with a red tie stands superimposed on an image of disneyland featuring sleeping beauty's castle under a bright rainbow.

DeSantis vs. Disney

In recent months, Ron DeSantis has been signing legislature into Florida law at an astonishing pace. After the collapse of his much-mocked presidential campaign, the far-right politician seems to be determined to ensure his legacy in Florida and is approving new bills multiple times a week.

This attempt to rehabilitate his public image before he leaves office in 2027 comes after not just his unsuccessful battle against former President Donald Trump but also his months-long legal feud with The Walt Disney Company. In early 2023, Governor DeSantis made it his mission to make an example of the Mouse and flex his executive power after former CEO Bob Chapek publicly denounced the Parental Rights in Education Act, better known as the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” law.

Disney Image with logo in the middle as a background; Gov. DeSantis on the left, former Disney CEO Bob Chapek on the right

Credit: Inside the Magic

DeSantis dissolved the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the special tax area where most of the Walt Disney World Resort is located and that the company had administered as the de facto government for decades. This led to an onslaught of lawsuits between the Mouse, the governor, and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) board of supervisors that he had stocked with his political allies.

Related: Governor DeSantis Announces Disney Rival Parks Will Offer Free Admission

After months of public acrimony and numerous legal stratagems, the CFTOD and Disney unexpectedly announced they had agreed to a “win-win” settlement that shelved most of the lawsuits and allowed all parties to deny any specific wrongdoing.

While Governor DeSantis cannot seem to stop himself from jabbing at Disney in the media, he also has been signing a number of new bills that massively benefit Disney and even covertly supported CEO Bob Iger behind the scenes through his oversight of state pension funds.

A collage of Bob Iger and Ron DeSantis together

Credit: Inside the Magic

‘Strong Families Tax Credit’

Governor DeSantis recently signed HB 7073, a bill that cut numerous taxes and provided credits for Florida residents. His official website describes some of the comprehensive benefits as:

  • Two Disaster Preparedness Holidays;

    • June 1—14 and August 24—September 6, families can prepare for hurricane season with items like tarps, batteries, and flashlights, sales tax free.
  • The Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday;

    • July 29—August 11, families can save on pens, pencils, computers, clothing, and other school supplies.
  • The Tool Time Sales Tax Holiday;

    • September 1—7, Floridians can save on power tools, hand tools, toolboxes, and other items.
  • The Freedom Month Sales Tax Holiday;

    • July 1—31, Florida families can purchase summer items like pool floats, fishing supplies, and outdoor equipment, in addition to admissions to museums and state parks, sales tax free.

Governor DeSantis claimed this bill as a huge benefit for Floridians, saying, “This is another billion plus dollars in tax relief for Florida families…Before I became governor, we never came close as a state to doing even a billion dollars in tax relief. We’ve done, just since I’ve become governor, close to $7 billion.”

Ron DeSantis speaking at a podium, with the united states flag.

Credit: DeSantis

Related: Ron DeSantis’ Florida Invaded, Culprits Heading to Disney World

However, less mentioned is the Strong Families Tax Credit, which doubles corporate tax breaks for companies like The Walt Disney Company. According to the governor’s site, it “[i]ncreases the cap…from $20 million to $40 million, which provides tax credits to companies that make charitable contributions to child welfare organizations.”

This assuredly includes Disney, which is well known for its charitable donations to children’s organizations. While this is no doubt motivated, at least in part, by the company’s careful maintenance of its family-friendly image, it also has provided a (self-reported) $233 million in charitable donations in 2022 alone.

Related: DeSantis Partner Goes Missing, Discovered in Trashed Hotel Outside Disney World

While Disney will not be the only company to benefit from this new bill, it is unquestionable that the Mouse will save a whole lot of money from it. It is also worth mentioning that DeSantis’ much-touted tax cuts will ultimately cost Florida $439.6 million, according to the state House of Representatives itself. DeSantis seems committed to spending a lot of money and cutting a lot of taxes, so we’ll just have to see how it works out in the long run.

Do you think that companies like Disney disproportionately benefit from tax cuts like these? Tell us in the comments below!

This post Ron DeSantis Approves $40 Million Tax Break for Disney appeared first on Inside the Magic.

About Nathan Kamal

Nathan Kamal is a Chicago-based writer and comic, who enjoys cooking, hanging out with his cat, and seeing as many movies as possible.

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