It’s that time of the year again, and I’m not talking about the most wonderful time of the year. I’m talking about Disney receiving its property assessment and claiming that it has been overcharged.
This year, Disney has filed a dozen lawsuits against Orange County property appraiser Amy Mercado and Florida tax collector Scott Randolph. Disney has also named the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District in the lawsuit, but that is common, as the district is the “political subdivision” of the state. In the past, Disney has named the Reedy Creek Improvement District in the lawsuit.
Reedy Creek was dissolved earlier this year and replaced with the CFTOD.
In the lawsuits, Disney claims that the property assessor violated Florida state statutes when determining how much various Disney land parcels are worth. They claim that the land values are excessive because of incorrect methods being used by the assessor. They also claim that the methods used by Mercado (the assessor) are not professionally accepted practices.
Below are some of the assessments that Disney is contesting.
- EPCOT – $646,178,878
- Magic Kingdom – $513,779,313
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios – $526,382,172
- Animal Kingdom – $426,211,245
- Typhoon Lagoon – $49,585,108
- Animal Kingdom Lodge – $180,550,541
Disney has already paid the amount that was required of them. But they are asking a judge to void the original bills and issue new tax bills with the correct assessment amounts. They also want the new bills to have the correct tax amounts. Disney is also asking for court costs.
As stated above, this is not the first time that Disney has sued the property assessor for overcharging Disney for its various land parcels throughout Walt Disney World Resort. Disney files these lawsuits every year and, in 2021, the Mouse House was refunded nearly $9 million for being overcharged from 2015 through 2020.
The settlement agreement acknowledged that several of Disney’s properties had been overvalued. This included the Walt Disney World Transportation & Ticket Center, the Wedding Pavilion at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Fantasia Fairways Miniature Golf Course.
The state’s property assessors do not typically comment on the lawsuits, but have said that they try to “remove all the political noise” and fairly address all properties.