Thursday, July 5, 2018

Disney will get $1.2 million refund from Orange County after winning tax dispute

Posted By on Thu, Jul 5, 2018 at 12:13 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA DISNEY
  • Photo via Disney
Walt Disney World will be getting about $1.2 million in refunded property taxes after winning a dispute against the Orange County Property Appraiser's Office over the value of Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort.

Disney sued OCPA in 2016 after the county office's appraisers assessed Yacht and Beach Club Resort at a value of nearly $337 million for the 2015 tax year. Disney officials challenged this assessment, arguing the property was actually worth close to $189 million.

A judge ruled in favor of Disney this week, saying the methodology used by the OCPA's office was flawed.

"We are pleased with the judge’s ruling, which confirms the property appraiser’s methodology was inappropriate and unconstitutional, and led to an unlawful 118 percent increase in the assessed value of Disney’s property," a spokesperson for Disney said in a statement.

Disney will be refunded $1.2 million in property taxes collected by Orange County. In a statement, OC Property Appraiser Rick Singh said the judge's decision to reduce the market value of the property would result in a refund of money "that Orange County Public Schools received in tax dollars from Disney." A Disney spokesperson called this assessment "inaccurate," saying the refund would be coming from the Florida Department of Revenue, not schools. 

Singh's office points out that the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts has an assessed value of $248 million.

"With all due respect to the judiciary, the court’s decision was grossly flawed and full of inaccuracies, and we will immediately file a motion for re-hearing this case," Singh said in a statement. "We firmly stand by our methodology and the accuracy of our assessment and are prepared to vigorously defend this case on behalf of the taxpayers of Orange County."

Singh added that his appraisers uses "accepted standards" for figuring out accurate values for properties.

"OCPA uses industry best practices to determine fair and accurate values to all property owners," Singh said.

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