DREAMers, other undocumented workers make major tax contributions to Uncle Sam, state treasuries
Thanking dad on Father's Day for all of his support

Disney: Unhappiest property tax place on Earth

Walt Disney World balloon seller_Davidlohr Bueso Flickr CC 111914
Walt Disney attorneys contend that the values of its properties are as inflated as these Disney World balloons and have gone to court to get new assessments. (Photo by Davidlohr Bueso via Flickr)

Walt Disney's namesake recreational areas have built their vacation reputations on being the happiest places on Earth.

But the company's tax lawyers are in decidedly bad moods after getting what they say are excessive tax year 2016 property value assessments of their Sunshine State parks.

So Disney is taking the Orange Country, Florida, property appraiser to court.

Dozens Disney tax suits: Disney Parks and Resorts have filed nearly a dozen tax-related lawsuits in Orange Circuit Court, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The legal actions contend that Orange County Appraiser Rick Singh's analysis exceeded the Disney properties' fair market value and incorrectly "included the value of certain intangible property in the assessments."

The tax assessments in question, according to court documents, include are Disney's Epcot at $446 million, Magic Kingdom at $437 million, Hollywood Studios at $339 million, Caribbean Beach Resort at $209 million and Animal Kingdom Lodge at $153 million.

In a statement to the Orlando newspaper, a Disney spokesperson said:

"The increases in the assessments of our property are unreasonable and unjustified. Similar to other property owners in Orange County, we have no choice but to take action to dispute these errors by the property appraiser. We look forward to presenting our case in court."

In addition to Singh, the Disney lawsuits name as defendants Scott Randolph, Orange County tax collector; Leon Biegalski, executive director of the Florida Department of Revenue; and the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the Disney-controlled government agency that collects its share of taxes from the Disney properties.

Disney is seeking "proper" fair market and assessed values to be determined so it can receive a new tax bill. The company also wants to be reimbursed for courts costs.

Standard tax operating procedure: Singh declined to comment on the latest pending tax litigation, but it's not the first time he's done tax battle with Mickey and friends.

Last fall, Disney, as well as other Orlando-based theme parks operated by SeaWorld and Universal, took the property appraiser to court over allegedly incorrect property values upon which their 2015 real estate taxes were based. Those suits are still pending.

You also might find these items of interest:




Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Robert, you know that disney is going to buck the system at every twist and turn possible.

Time Hedge

I have long despised property taxes even as one who doesn't own their own home. It never even occurred to me that business's had to content with it eating into profitability. Now I can't imagine Disney is doing poorly by anymeans, but I do appreciate them contesting their fair value.

robert Edwards

Are you kidding Disney? I live in Orlando, those properties are worth ten-fold what the appraiser has then listed for. There are probably over a thousand small lakefront homes in Orlando that are appraised at a few Million! $437 Million for Disneyworld? I would assemble a team of investors and buy it for that in a heartbeat!
Pay up Walt!

The comments to this entry are closed.