Florida official says Disney fleeing California will allow it to grow and expand

Florida official says Disney fleeing California will allow it to grow and expand

02/10/2021

California exodus: Walt Disney Company in talks to move some jobs to Florida

Lower taxes make the Sunshine State more attractive for businesses than many blue states, says Jimmy Patronis, chief financial officer of Florida.

Florida is welcoming the opportunity for Disney to expand more if its operations to the Sunshine State.

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"Disney already has a proven track record here,” Chief Financial Officer of Florida Jimmy Patronis told “Fox & Friends First” Wednesday. “We just like to allow them to grow and expand their business.”

His comments come as Disney is considering moving some of its operations from California, where they are struggling to reopen their theme parks, to Florida.

DISNEY MAY RELOCATE SOME OPERATIONS FROM CALIFORNIA TO FLORIDA

The potential move makes Disney the latest in a growing number of companies considering moving some or all of their operations out of California, which has some of the strictest lockdown measures in the country.

Patronis believes that one of the reasons why companies are departing California is because of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s leadership.

“Gavin Newsom is nonresponsive. Businesses are fleeing his state,” Patronis said.

While it is unclear which specific divisions or how many people could be part of any type of move, there are logistical challenges for exporting some operations from California. For example, some TV programs and films have been shot at Disney's Orlando facilities, but the bulk of its studio production operations are on its 51 acre Burbank lot for ease of use to the Hollywood filmmaking community.

Patronis went on to applaud companies like Disney for moving elsewhere, especially after dealing with unfriendly tax rates. California has the nation's highest income tax rate at 13.3%.

“Eventually when you're not appreciated, hopefully enough is enough,” he said.

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Low taxes aren’t the only attraction. Disney also would have the luxury of working in a state with a strong financial record.

“We got a really good FICO credit score,” he said.

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Patronis also pointed out that Florida is a safe place to develop a business.

“On top of that," he said, "49 consecutive years of declining violent crime rates.”

FOX Business' Daniella Genovese contributed to this report.

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