Disney Files Lawsuits, Claims Property Tax Assessments Inaccurate

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts are not happy with Orange County Appraiser Rick Singh’s assessment of their properties’ value. The Orlando Sentinel reported that almost a dozen lawsuits had been filed in late May in Orange Circuit Court, saying the Appraiser’s numbers for the properties were much greater than their fair-market value and “included the value of certain intangible property in the assessments.” These lawsuits are just a few among the many that are intended to dispute high property taxes, filed by Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, and numerous other local businesses.

A spokesperson for Disney stated, “The increases in the assessments of our property are unreasonable and unjustified. Similar to other property owners in Orange County, we have no choice but to take action to dispute these errors by the property appraiser. We look forward to presenting our case in court.”

Disney is seeking new assessments of their properties, giving them a new tax bill. They are also seeking court costs. The lawsuit singles out Rick Singh, Scott Randolf, and Leon Biegalski, and the Reedy Creek Improvement District. Randolf is a Tax Colllector, Biegalski is the executive director of the Florida Department of Revenue, and Reedy Creek is the Disney owned district that collects their taxes from the Disney properties.

What are some of the assessments Disney is contesting? Singh valued the Magic Kingdom at $437 million, Epcot at $446 million, Hollywood Studios at $339 million, Animal Kingdom Lodge at $153 million, and Caribbean Beach Resort at $239 million.

Universal and Lowes Hotels’ collaboration, UCF Hotel Venture, also filed lawsuits recently to dispute property assessments. The lawsuits involve the figures for four hotels: Royal Pacific, Hard Rock, Portofino Bay and Cabana Bay.

Source: The Orlando Sentinel

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