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What actions could Reedy Creek take after Florida ended its special tax district?

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Reedy Creek officials have released a statement after the state ordered the end of its special tax district.

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In the statement, Reedy Creek cites a part of the law that deals with contracts.

In it, Reedy Creek said Florida’s politicians promised not to interfere with Reedy Creek as long as the district had debt on its books.

READ: Reedy Creek leaders meet for the first time since bill signed to dissolve special district

It was written that way into the charter that set up the district, and Reedy Creek is exploring its options.

“Florida cannot promise that they won’t mess with Reedy Creek, and then dissolve Reedy Creek. So Reedy Creek, according to this promise, has to exist, so long as there’s a debt,” said Maitland-based attorney Jacob Schumer.

He said there are two ways Florida can work around it: the state pays off all the debt, even though some of it can’t be paid off for five years, or the state sets up a successor to Reedy Creek that functions like its predecessor, if it gets to that point.

READ: What would dissolving Disney’s Reedy Creek mean for local taxpayers?

In a statement, a spokesperson for the governor’s office wrote, “The governor’s team has and will continue to account for all legal implications in administering this legislation which is designed to level the playing field for businesses in Florida. When we have more to share on our path forward, we will be glad to send it along.”

The statement also said that the governor had a plan to raise Disney’s taxes and avoid passing on its debt to the counties, as state law requires. It did not offer any details on that plan.

READ: End of Reedy Creek: Disney won’t pay more taxes, but you will

“As of now, Orange and Osceola County have to assume that this is going to happen to them, because it’s going to happen unless somebody stops it,” Schumer said.

Schumer said he does not see a way for Florida to win this case if someone brings it to court.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

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