Taxes! Taxes! Beautiful, lovely taxes!
Those who watched Disney’s animated Robin Hood movie might remember this particular Prince John quote. Unfortunately, taxes are something Disney is not excited about these days. The Walt Disney Company is suing Orange County’s Property Appraiser, Rick Singh, over their Walt Disney World property taxes. Disney argues that their 2019 property tax appraisals are too high.
In the past week, Disney filed a dozen lawsuits in the Orange Circuit Court over the property tax assessments for their theme parks, resorts, employee buildings and other structures on its sprawling property. However, Beth Watson, spokeswoman for Rick Singh’s office, disagrees with Disney’s complaints. Her office believes that Walt Disney World Resort was previously undervalued for decades by property appraisers.
“Again this year, the Disney organization has chosen use the court system to dispute the value of its property in Orange County and thereby pay reduced property taxes that would benefit area infrastructure and public schools,” Watson said. “The Orange County Property Appraiser looks forward to defending these values in court on behalf of the citizens of Orange County, so that Disney’s responsibility to the community is upheld.”
According to the Orange County appraisers, the assessed value for the four theme parks includes:
Magic Kingdom – $504 million
Epcot – $539 million
Disney’s Hollywood Studios – $394 million
Disney’s Animal Kingdom – $435 million
Even though Disney argues that the assessed property values are excessive, the company hasn’t stated what they believe the true values should be for the Orlando area theme parks. It’ll take time before any determination is made regarding the disputed property taxes and assessed values.
Source: Orlando Sentinel