Earlier this month, it was reported that Disney World was suing Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh over its property taxes, claiming they were too high.
Since then, an appellate court has given their ruling on the case — and it could have major implications for Florida hotel companies.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, in a ruling for a lawsuit between Disney and Singh, “an appellate court determined that Singh’s office improperly inflated the value of Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort, a luxury hotel with an annual property tax bill of more than $4 million.”
While this ruling was a win in Disney’s favor, it could potentially go beyond that as well. In their ruling, “the court declared the entire method that Singh had used to appraise the Disney property — a method that is widely used by other property appraisers — is illegal under Florida law.”
Because of this, Disney and other hotel companies could use this ruling to push for lower tax assessments for their future. Currently, Disney is “already challenging the appraisals for more than 10 other hotels.”
Singh was first brought in as an elected property appraiser in 2012, and at the time, concluded that some properties (including resort hotels at spots such as Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World) had been under-assessed under his predecessors. During this time, properties such as Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club more than doubled to nearly $340 million.
In a statement on the ruling, Disney spokesperson Jacquee Wahler said, “We are pleased that the court concluded that the method used by the property appraiser violated Florida law. We look forward to a reassessment of our properties consistent with Florida law and the court of appeal’s ruling.”