Universal Files Lawsuit over Parking Garage Tax Assessment

A lawsuit filed Friday shows Universal is unsatisfied with tax assessments that totaled $275 million for parking garages located at its theme parks and CityWalk. According to court documents filed with Orange Circuit Court, Universal finds the assessment for its North and South garages “excessive.”

Universal names Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh, County Tax Collector Scott Randolph and the state’s executive director for the department of revenue in the suit. Singh has been involved in assessment disputes with both SeaWorld Orlando, which has been settled, as well as Walt Disney World, which is still ongoing.

This is not Universal’s first parking garage disagreement with Singh; a lawsuit from 2015 when the garages were appraised at $148.6 million is still pending.

This newest suit accuses Singh of not abiding by “professionally accepted appraisal practices.”

This year also saw seven lawsuits by UCF Hotel Venture challenging tax assessments that reach back as far as 2012. UCF is a partnership between Universal and Lowes Hotels; the disputed properties are four Universal Orlando Resort hotels: Royal Pacific, Hard Rock, Portofino Bay, and Cabana Bay.

According to the lawsuit, the parking garage properties include 18,500 spaces and cover more than 7 million square feet.

Source: The Orlando Sentinel

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