Last month, we learned that U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia Altonaga dismissed the lawsuit that was filed against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis regarding his signing off on the dissolution of the Reedy Creek Improvement District. That bill would dissolve Disney’s Reedy Creek district by June of 2023.
The lawsuit was originally filed back in May on behalf of several Orange and Osceola County taxpayers who felt that dissolving the Reedy Creek Improvement District would violate the Taxpayer Bill of Rights should the nearly $1 billion in debt/costs get passed onto the counties’ residents.
The suit has since been refiled with the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County. Attorney William J. Sanchez of Miami-based William J. Sanchez & Associates PA is representing the plaintiffs in the newly refiled case.
“The new lawsuit is grounded in Florida’s 1967 Reedy Creek Statute, the Florida Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights and the Florida Constitution — all providing a more stringent due process requirement than the U.S. Constitution”, Sanchez told the Orlando Business Journal.
We truly believe we are on firm footing before the state court. The federal court judge viewed the case more through the prism of the First Amendment argument which is Disney’s to make. Although there is case law which also gives third parties rights to raise another party’s First Amendment rights, we chose to not appeal the federal judge’s decision. We believe our Florida taxpayer rights are going to receive greater protection in state court.
DeSantis has made it clear that he wants the State of Florida to have control over the RCID rather than the local counties. He said, “There’s a whole bunch of different things that we will be able to do. I’d much rather have the state leading that effort than potentially having local governments.”
What happens next remains to be seen, but a hearing for the case has not been scheduled yet.