Disney yet again sues Orange County appraiser over Florida tax assessments

The company claims the county is charging it too much in taxes

New York Weekend Edition /
Jun.June 21, 2020 09:00 AM
Rich Singh (Wikipedia Commons, iStock)

Rich Singh (Wikipedia Commons, iStock)

It’s that time of year again. Disney is suing Orange County Property Appraiser Rich Singh.
The company filed 12 lawsuits this week against Singh, claiming the county’s tax assessment of its Orlando-area properties, including Disney World, were too high. Disney has sued Singh over tax assessments every year since 2016, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Disney didn’t provide an alternate assessment figure in the suits, but called the assessment from Singh’s office “excessive,” and accused him of “not following professionally accepted appraisal practices.”

Disney lawyers said in one court document that the assessments “exceed the market value,” of the properties.

Beth Watson, a spokesperson for Singh, said that the appraisals were correct and that Disney’s properties “had been undervalued for decades by previous property appraisers.”

The suits include some of the county’s assessments of Disney’s vast Orange County real estate holdings. Singh valued the Magic Kingdom at $504 million, but Epcot edged it out at $539 million.

Hollywood Studios was assessed at $394 million and Animal Kingdom at $435 million, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The South Florida hospitality industry has widely suffered from shutdowns. Some hotels are now opening.
Disney World is set to open in mid-July, but the company has already taken a massive financial hit from shutdowns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Disney executives estimated in early May that the company could lose as much as $1.4 billion in the second quarter alone. [Orlando Sentinel — Dennis Lynch


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