Florida Governor Ron DeSantis may have put a bull’s-eye on special perks that Walt Disney Co. has enjoyed in his state for more than 50 years, but he’s keeping his hands off hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks recently lavished on the entertainment giant.
On Friday, DeSantis signed legislation to end a special municipal district Disney has operated in the state since the late 1960s. It’s part of a drive to punish the company for speaking out against a law, championed by the governor, that bans discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten to third-grade classrooms.
But for now, at least, DeSantis is leaving alone another valuable perk: $578 million in credits Disney can use to reduce its state income taxes through 2040. Christina Pushaw, a spokesperson for the governor, said DeSantis hasn’t asked the legislature to repeal the tax credits because “it’s not a carve-out for a specific corporation.” Any company can apply for the incentives, she said, and “the bigger investments will qualify for the bigger tax credits.”
Florida economic development officials certified the credits in February 2020, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg News under a public records request.