Disney Argues New Florida Law Nullifies DeSantis-Backed Suit

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Disney Argues New Florida Law Nullifies DeSantis-Backed Suit

Disney and DeSantis: two powerful forces in Florida, but it looks like the company may have the upper hand for now. The Walt Disney Company has argued that a new Florida law nullifies the DeSantis-backed suit that the company’s recent lawsuit against the state’s property tax appraiser.

Earlier this week, Disney filed the lawsuit, claiming the property tax appraiser overvalued the company’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort by millions of dollars. The company is seeking a refund of $1.2 million in taxes, plus interest. However, just hours later, the Florida legislature passed a bill that changes the way commercial properties are assessed.

The new law allows property owners to appeal the value of their commercial properties up until the start of the tax year, rather than the end of the year – giving companies like Disney a much longer window to challenge their property taxes. In response, Disney said that the new law renders its lawsuit against the property tax appraiser “moot and unripe,” and, as such, Disney requested that the court dismiss the lawsuit.

The legal battle between the theme park giant and the state’s property tax appraiser began back in 2015, when the property appraiser increased the value of the Yacht and Beach Club Resort. Disney chose not to appeal the increase at the time, but it does so now, with the new legislation in place.

So, who is right in this latest dispute? Disney or DeSantis? Well, the answer isn’t clear cut.

Disney argues that the new law effectively prevents any legal action being taken over the assessments that took place before the law was passed. This means that, in its view, the lawsuit is no longer relevant. DeSantis, on the other hand, is calling for the lawsuit to proceed as planned, arguing that the new law doesn’t exclude past assessments and that this means that Disney’s lawsuit still has merit.

Whatever the outcome of the legal dispute, the Disney-DeSantis dynamic could have wider repercussions for the state as a whole – particularly if the new tax assessment law leads to a surge in legal challenges from other commercial property owners in the state.

This legal battle also highlights the complexities of the relationship between private companies and government entities. When a company is as large and powerful as Disney, it can be difficult for governments to effectively regulate the company’s activities – particularly when it comes to property assessments and taxation. However, as we have seen in this case, the government can also create laws that effectively neutralize a company’s legal protections.

The role of the government is to create a level playing field for all parties, but it can be argued that this latest turn of events, in which the Florida legislature changed the law in order to protect a major corporation, sends the wrong message to other Florida businesses that feel they are being unfairly taxed.

In conclusion, this latest legal dispute between Disney and the Florida state government highlights some of the complexities inherent in regulating large corporations. Both Disney and Governor DeSantis have valid arguments, but it remains to be seen whether the court will ultimately side with the theme park giant, or whether DeSantis can continue with his lawsuit. What is clear is that the outcome of this dispute could have significant implications for Florida’s overall business environment.