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Disney’s Bob Iger taunts Florida with an ominous threat: ‘Does the state want us to invest more, employ more, and pay more taxes — or not?’<!-- wp:html --><p>Disney CEO Bob Iger issued a threat to Florida during the company's earnings call on Wednesday.</p> <p class="copyright">RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images</p> <p>Last month, <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/disney-desantis-feud-timeline-parental-rights-education-florida-2023-4">Disney sued Florida Governor Ron DeSantis,</a> escalating a war that's gone on for over a year.<br /> Disney's CEO Bob Iger addressed the feud during the company's second quarter earnings call.<br /> Iger threatened DeSantis, asking the governor if he wanted Disney to "pay more taxes or not."</p> <p>Disney's <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/disney-desantis-feud-timeline-parental-rights-education-florida-2023-4">feud with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis</a> has gone from <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/disneys-bob-iger-going-nuclear-sues-ron-desantis-florida-disneyworld-2023-4">bitter to downright acrimonious</a> in recent months. </p> <p>During Disney's <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/disney-earnings-ceo-bob-iger-scores-revenue-win-desantis-battle-2023-5">second quarter earnings call</a> on Wednesday, CEO Bob Iger threw the latest punch, making a seeming threat to the state and its leader.</p> <p>"One question: Does the state want us to invest more, employ more people, and pay more taxes — or not?" he asked.</p> <p>"We've built a business that employs, as we've said before, over 75,000 people and attracts tens of millions of people to the state," Iger said.</p> <p>He added that that Disney is "the largest taxpayer in Central Florida," paying over $1.1 billion in state and local taxes last year.</p> <p>DeSantis and Disney have been locked in a power struggle that began when Disney pushed back against a controversial bill, nicknamed the "<a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/fight-over-floridas-dont-say-gay-bill-explained-2022-2">Don't Say Gay Bill</a>." Since then, DeSantis has been trying to wrest control from — or, as Disney puts it, retaliate against — the company.</p> <p>Over the past year, DeSantis has worked to dismantle Disney's special tax district, which gives the company certain self-governing rights. He's also <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/ron-desantis-considering-hotel-taxes-and-highway-tolls-on-disney-2023-4">considered constructing toll roads into the park</a>, and suggested building a competing theme park or prison nearby.</p> <p>Things <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/disneys-bob-iger-going-nuclear-sues-ron-desantis-florida-disneyworld-2023-4">took a turn</a> last month when the entertainment giant sued the governor, accusing him of seeking to "weaponize government power" against the company. </p> <p>The feud is about "one thing and one thing only, and that's retaliating against us for taking a position about pending legislation," Iger said during Wednesday's earnings call. Iger contended that in taking a position against the "Don't Say Gay Bill," the company is "merely exercising our right to free speech."</p> <p>Iger added that the special privileges Disney been given to essentially govern itself are a direct function of how much the company contributes to the state's economy — and that they aren't, in fact, all that special. He noted that there are about 2,000 special districts in Florida, including the Daytona Speedway and retirement community The Villages.</p> <p>"We pay more taxes, specifically more real estate taxes, as a result of that special district," he added.  </p> <p>Ultimately, he turned the question back to DeSantis and the state of Florida, asking whether they could really afford to lose the jobs and money that Disney is generating for the state.</p> <p>The ball is in DeSantis's kingdom. </p> <p>Disney and the office of Ron DeSantis did not immediately respond to Insider's request for a comment. </p> <div class="read-original">Read the original article on <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/disney-bob-iger-issues-threat-to-florida-desantis-taxes-jobs-2023-5">Business Insider</a></div><!-- /wp:html -->

Disney CEO Bob Iger issued a threat to Florida during the company’s earnings call on Wednesday.

Last month, Disney sued Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, escalating a war that’s gone on for over a year.
Disney’s CEO Bob Iger addressed the feud during the company’s second quarter earnings call.
Iger threatened DeSantis, asking the governor if he wanted Disney to “pay more taxes or not.”

Disney’s feud with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has gone from bitter to downright acrimonious in recent months. 

During Disney’s second quarter earnings call on Wednesday, CEO Bob Iger threw the latest punch, making a seeming threat to the state and its leader.

“One question: Does the state want us to invest more, employ more people, and pay more taxes — or not?” he asked.

“We’ve built a business that employs, as we’ve said before, over 75,000 people and attracts tens of millions of people to the state,” Iger said.

He added that that Disney is “the largest taxpayer in Central Florida,” paying over $1.1 billion in state and local taxes last year.

DeSantis and Disney have been locked in a power struggle that began when Disney pushed back against a controversial bill, nicknamed the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.” Since then, DeSantis has been trying to wrest control from — or, as Disney puts it, retaliate against — the company.

Over the past year, DeSantis has worked to dismantle Disney’s special tax district, which gives the company certain self-governing rights. He’s also considered constructing toll roads into the park, and suggested building a competing theme park or prison nearby.

Things took a turn last month when the entertainment giant sued the governor, accusing him of seeking to “weaponize government power” against the company. 

The feud is about “one thing and one thing only, and that’s retaliating against us for taking a position about pending legislation,” Iger said during Wednesday’s earnings call. Iger contended that in taking a position against the “Don’t Say Gay Bill,” the company is “merely exercising our right to free speech.”

Iger added that the special privileges Disney been given to essentially govern itself are a direct function of how much the company contributes to the state’s economy — and that they aren’t, in fact, all that special. He noted that there are about 2,000 special districts in Florida, including the Daytona Speedway and retirement community The Villages.

“We pay more taxes, specifically more real estate taxes, as a result of that special district,” he added.  

Ultimately, he turned the question back to DeSantis and the state of Florida, asking whether they could really afford to lose the jobs and money that Disney is generating for the state.

The ball is in DeSantis’s kingdom. 

Disney and the office of Ron DeSantis did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for a comment. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

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