Disney World Paid $1.146 Billion in State and Local Taxes Last Year

In an update to its Disney Connect website, Disney has highlighted some of the ways that it has made a difference in Florida. The update comes at a time when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has leveled a series of attacks against Walt Disney World. The webpage, which was updated earlier this year and then again sometime in the past week, highlights how Disney has “played an active role in finding solutions to important matters affecting Floridians”.

One of DeSantis’ early attacks against Walt Disney World revolved around Disney not paying its “fair share” in taxes. In an update to the website this year, Disney disclosed that it has paid $1.146 billion in state and local taxes. Disney says that it is the “largest single taxpayer in Central Florida”.

In the recent Annual Shareholder Meeting, Disney CEO Bob Iger addressed the issue of DeSantis’ retaliation against Disney head-on:

We love the state of Florida. And I think that’s reflected in not only how much we’ve invested over the last 50 years, but how much we’ve given back in the form of jobs and community service taxes which you brought up, tourism, of course, and all sorts of other responsible business practices. We’ve also always respected and appreciated what the state has done for us. It’s kind of been a two-way street. But a year ago, the company took a position on pending Florida legislation. And while the company may have not handled the position that it took very well, a company has a right to freedom of speech just like individuals do. And obviously in taking the position, the governor got very angry about the position Disney took and seems like he’s decided to retaliate against us, including the naming of a new board to oversee the property and the business, in effect to seek to punish a company for its exercise of a constitutional right. And that just seems really wrong to me, against any company or individual but particularly against the company that means so much to the state that you live in. That you can put that in perspective we have over 75,000 employees which I noted in my opening, countless thousands of indirect jobs have been created. About 50 million visitors will go through our gates this year alone, about 8 million of them from outside the U.S. and we are the largest taxpayer in the state. And you may find this interesting as it relates to future taxes but we’re currently planning now to invest over $17 billion in Walt Disney World over the next 10 years. And those investments we estimate will create 13,000 new Disney jobs and thousands of other indirect jobs and they’ll also attract more people to the state and generate more taxes. And, so our point on this is any action is that towards those efforts, simply to retaliate for a position the company took sounds not just anti-business but it sounds anti-Florida, and I’ll just leave it at that.

Bob Iger, CEO The Walt Disney Company

In a recent press conference, DeSantis claimed that Disney was able to set its own property evaluations for tax purposes. Not only is this not true, Disney has actually sued and won against the Orange County Property Appraiser for valuing Disney World properties incorrectly, resulting in higher valuations for Disney property.

As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!

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