Disney has apparently reached a settlement with the Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office over the “inflated” property values that were placed on Walt Disney World parks like Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon and Fantasia Golf.
The settlement was apparently reached via mediation after a few years in court. So far no set amount has been calculated but according to the Orlando Sentinel, Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph said it was about $1.3 million for just 2015.
“... Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph said Monday Disney would be due about $1.3 million for tax year 2015 and probably similar amounts for tax years 2016 through 2020, also covered by the agreement approved by Circuit Judge Kevin B. Weiss last week.”
This all started in 2016 when Disney sued the previous Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh’s office about “exaggerated fair-market values” on 14 of the Orlando theme parks properties.
The current Orange County Property Appraiser, Amy Mercado said that the settlement was reached without her office performing new assessments and it will result in “significant” refunds for the theme park.
Here’s what she said on the situation:
“The numbers never changed. What changed was the willingness to have a conversation and go to mediation. Lawyers for Disney and the property appraiser met in mediation April 14.”
During the five years of legal battles Disney did continue to pay the annual taxes as levied by the “six authorities six authorities —the state for public education, Orange County government, Orange County Public Schools, the county library system, the South Florida Water Management District and Bay Lake, a Disney-controlled municipality.”
Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph has help money back due to the ongoing litigations incase of a refund:
“We’ve been anticipating these but, of course, we’re not involved in the negotiations so we never know exactly what the settlements are going to be. But a couple of years ago I had discussions with the big taxing authorities — the city, the county and the schools — and I said, ‘Hey, you should know there’s a lot of litigation out there, and we’re holding back more [money] in reserves than what we would normally hold back.”
Again, how much of a refund Disney will get back has yet to be calculated.
Source: Orlando Sentinel
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