Capitolist reader poll: 69 percent say DeSantis should not reverse course on Disney special status

by | Dec 13, 2022

  • Capitolist readers overwhelmingly oppose restoring Disney’s special tax status at the Reedy Creek Improvement District, according to a reader poll 
  • A CEO change at Disney prompted speculation that DeSantis and state lawmakers might reverse course on the matter
  • More than two-thirds of all Capitolist readers oppose handing control over Reedy Creek back to Disney, though 20 percent are open to doing so in the future

Two weeks after the New York Times reported that “Disney may get its Florida tax magic back” after a leadership change resulted in the ouster of controversial CEO Bob Chapek, readers of The Capitolist say that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis should continue to hold the line and not return the company’s special tax status . DeSantis had already indicated he has no plans to reverse course, despite Disney’s leadership change.

When Disney replaced Chapek with his predecessor, returning CEO Bob Iger made public comments suggesting that he regretted Disney’s involvement in the Parental Rights in Education debate, which critics dubbed the “Don’t say gay” law. Last spring, Chapek made comments to appease LGBTQ critics that he planned to put Disney resources behind trying to repeal the legislation, which prompted DeSantis and Florida lawmakers to quickly strip the company of its special tax status by abolishing the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

Now that Iger is back in the CEO role, he expressed regret that Disney had become embroiled in the political matter. According to the New York Times:

This week, the C.E.O. — whose public opposition to the education bill helped push Mr. Chapek to take a stand — said he was “sorry to see us get dragged into” a political fight, adding, “the state of Florida has been important to us for a long time and we have been very important to the state of Florida.”

To that, DeSantis shot back.

“We didn’t drag them in,” DeSantis told Fox News. “They went in on their own and not only opposed the bill, threatened to get it repealed.”

But the New York Times nevertheless reported that some lawmakers were readying to reverse course on the matter and restore Reedy Creek.

Asked what they think about the matter, 69.2 percent of The Capitolist’s readers overwhelmingly oppose any move to return to the previous status quo, while 30.8 percent believe that DeSantis and Florida lawmakers should reinstate Reedy Creek’s special tax status.

Nearly half say that Disney’s status isn’t warranted anyway, showing strong support among our audience that regardless of what Disney does in the future, the company shouldn’t be granted special privileges. But one in five readers (20.5 percent) of the unscientific internet poll are open-minded on the question of restoring Reedy Creek’s status, but they still want DeSantis and GOP lawmakers to hold the line until they see more contrition from Disney for meddling in the state’s education policy.

Here’s the full breakdown:


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