Disney CEO Bob Iger questions if Gov. Ron DeSantis wants the company in Florida 'or not?'

 In the latest salvo in the feud between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Disney, CEO Bob Iger defended the company's actions and wondered if Florida even wanted it there.

"Does the state want us to invest more, employ more people and pay more taxes, or not?” Iger asked, during the company's quarterly earnings call this week.

Iger was also quick to point out that Florida gets a lot from Disney's presence, employing over 75,000 people — "by the way, we pay them substantially above the minimum wage dictated by the state of Florida" — and bringing "tens of millions of people" to the state.

"We’re the largest taxpayer in Central Florida, paying over $1 billion in state and local taxes last year alone," Iger said. "We operate responsibly. We pay our fair share of taxes," he said.

He said Disney's wish was simply to continue doing business as they had done before and suggested that the company's plan to invest $17 billion in Florida over the next 10 years might change.

More:Disney CEO Bob Iger escalates war of words with Ron DeSantis. Who's winning the Florida feud?

Who started the fight between DeSantis and Disney?

Ever since former Disney CEO Bob Chapek spoke out against DeSantis' "Parental Rights in Education" bill, dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill by critics, the governor has gone to war against the Magic Kingdom, escalating the back-and-forth until the Florida Legislature authorized what amounted to a hostile takeover of the Disney-allied Reedy Creek Improvement District that was created in 1967 to give the entertainment giant broad, self-governing powers. 

But Disney and Reedy Creek had already moved control of the vast Central Florida holdings to the Disney company, leaving the new board largely powerless. The Florida Legislature quickly introduced a new bill to strike down the arrangement, and DeSantis suggested that Disney could expect more inspections, toll charges on nearby roads, taxes on hotels and more and said the state could use land next to Disney's properties for low-income housing, another amusement park, or even a prison.

Disney vs. DeSantis timeline:What happened when Florida's governor took on the Mouse

Disney sued DeSantis in federal court, charging him with violating the company's free speech rights and claiming the governor led a "targeted campaign of government retaliation" against the company, a charge DeSantis dismissed as "political." The newly created Central Florida Tourism board fired back with a lawsuit of its own in state court and the Legislature approved a bill to single out Disney World's Monorail from a law that allowed large amusement parks to inspect their own rides.

A Monorail ride offers a stunning nighttime view of EPCOT as Walt Disney World celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Iger: 'This is about one thing and one thing only, and that’s retaliating against us for taking a position'

It's that kind of specificity that Iger railed against on the call when an investor asked how investors should view conditions in Florida, pointing out that there were no plans to take on special districts before Disney spoke out on the governor's legislation and no other special districts in the state have been targeted.

"I mentioned the Daytona Speedway has one, a prominent retirement community the Villages, and there are countless others," Iger said. "So if the goal here is leveling the playing field and the uniform application of the law, government oversight of special districts needs to occur or be applied to all special districts."

DeSantis' real goal, Iger claimed, is retaliation. "This is about one thing and one thing only, and that’s retaliating against us for taking a position about pending legislation."

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