Disney thwarts DeSantis’ oversight board takeover using bizarre legal tie to King Charles III of England

Disney quietly dodges DeSantis

the The Walt Disney CompanyAmid its dispute with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, King Charles III called in his attempt to stifle the Republican governor’s efforts to strip the company of self-government power in the state.

In February, nearly a year after lawmakers worked to dissolve Disney’s tax district, DeSantis signed a bill ending Disney’s self-rule authority and placing the media giant under state council control. The same month, in the hours leading up to the Florida State House of Representatives He agreed to a state takeoverHowever, the board of directors—still under the control of the Disney-aligned appointees at the time—transferred many of the special district’s duties to Disney’s control.

Pursuant to the developer agreements signed and effective February 8, the same day that Florida House passed legislation to control aspects of Disneyland, the Reedy Creek Improvement District It passed most of its power to Disney for the next 30 years.

The agreement — which gives Disney the ability not to seek board approval to construct complex projects or buildings at certain heights, as well as to sell or assign development rights — was used royal clause It dates back to 1692 in Great Britain.

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The Walt Disney Company, amid its dispute with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has invoked a statutory royalty clause in its attempt to stifle the governor's efforts to strip the company of self-governing power in the state.

The Walt Disney Company, amid its dispute with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has invoked a statutory royalty clause in its attempt to stifle the governor’s efforts to strip the company of self-governing power in the state. (AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC, Scott Olson via Getty Images)

“[This] The declaration shall continue to be in effect until 21 years after the death of the last surviving descendant of King Charles III, King of England, who was living as of the date of this declaration,” according to the document, which refers to language often used in the United Kingdom.

“So, as long as one of those grandchildren makes it 80, that clause will be around for 100 years,” said Robert Lord, senior tax policy advisor at the National Millionaires Progressive Group, according to NBC News.

The agreement containing the clause entered into force before February 27, when DeSantis was replaced Board members aligned with Disney and Republicans. These moves were not widely discussed until a meeting of the Central Florida Tourism Control Board (CFTOB), formerly known as the Reedy Creek Special District.

“This essentially makes Disney the government,” Ron Perry, a newly appointed member of the CFTOB, said at the Feb. 27 meeting. “This council loses, for practical purposes, the majority of its ability to do anything beyond road maintenance and basic infrastructure maintenance.”

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The previous board that oversaw aspects of Disney World agreed to a series of agreements that gave the giant a wide range of control.

The previous board that oversaw aspects of Disney World agreed to a series of agreements that gave the giant a wide range of control. (Getty Images for Disney Dreamers Academy)

New board member Brian Ungst Jr. also objected to the agreement, deeming it “void” after it “was passed on the same day that the Florida Board of Directors passed the bill creating this board, and we were barred from doing our business.”

“This is offensive to me,” said August Jr..

“The governor’s executive office is aware of Disney’s recent efforts to enforce contracts ahead of the ratification of the new law that transfers rights and powers from the former Reedy Creek Improvement District to Disney,” said Taryn Finsky, a spokesperson for the governor’s office. .

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill in February that ends Disney's autonomy and puts the media giant under the control of a state board of directors.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill in February that ends Disney’s autonomy and puts the media giant under the control of a state board of directors. (Katherine Gamble/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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The governor was not aware of the agreements concluded by the previous council before putting his mark on the new neighborhood, according to what he reported DeSantis office. However, it was passed by the board of directors during a public meeting that included public hearings.

“Initial review indicates that these agreements may have significant legal flaws that would render the contracts void as a matter of law,” Fenske said. “We are pleased that the new board appointed by the governor has retained several financial and law firms to conduct audits and investigate Disney’s past behavior.”

Fox News’ Cassie Dillon and Matt Leach contributed to this article.

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