Orange County would see financial burden if Reedy Creek dissolves, tax collector says

Property tax could rise 15 to 20%, county officials say

Tax collector Scott Randolph said Orange County would also be taking on, potentially, $1 billion to $2 billion in bond debt.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Dissolving the Reedy Creek Improvement District would be a financial burden on the county, according to Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph.

He added that there would be zero fiscal gain for the county.

“If that district goes away, it is zero revenue, but they take on all the debt and all the obligation,” Randolph said.

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Randolph said that financial obligation is about $105 million a year to operate services in Reedy Creek. For example, the district runs its own fire department, sewer services and handles all the road maintenance.

Additionally, Randolph said the county would also be taking on, potentially, $1 billion to $2 billion in bond debt.

If the county is absorbing additional costs from Reedy Creek, Randolph said the money is going to have to come from somewhere.

“If Reedy Creek is dissolved, my guess would be Orange County would have to raise property taxes 15 to 20%; now that’s not your whole tax bill, right, because your tax bill involves school and other things, but your Orange County government portion of your tax bill will probably have to go up 15 to 20% to take on that cost,” he said.

The Florida Senate voted Wednesday to eliminate Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, backing Gov. Ron DeSantis’ efforts to punish the theme park and entertainment giant.

A companion bill, H.B. 3C, was filed in the House by State Rep. Randy Fine of Brevard County after Disney “chose to kick the hornet’s nest” and condemn DeSantis’ parental rights in education law, more colloquially known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

The House State Affairs Committee voted Tuesday night along party lines to pass H.B. 3C along to the full house vote, which is set to take place Thursday.


About the Author:

Lauren Cervantes was born and raised in the Midwest but calls Florida her second home. She joined News 6 in August 2019 as a reporter.