At its meeting later today, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District is expected to approve a reduction in property tax millage rates. However the move is not likely to result in lower property taxes for Disney Vacation Club owners.
Orlando Business Journal is reporting that the new state-run tax district overseeing Disney property in central Florida will soon meet to approve its Fiscal Year 2024 operating budget. Included in that budget is a reduction in the tax millage rate from the current 13.9 mills to 12.95 mills per $1000 valuation. In spite of that, increases in property valuations and overall tax collections suggest the move is unlikely to result in lower annual dues for Disney Vacation Club members.
Monies collected by the CFTOD are used to fund most city services in the Walt Disney World area including fire and rescue services, utilities and road maintenance. The CFTOD millage is just one component of the overall tax bill. Taxes are also assessed by the Cities of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Orange County and in accordance with various state and local school levies. Additionally, the millages are applied to property valuations calculated by officials with Orange County and Osceola County.
The proposed budget reflects a year-to-year increase in property valuation of 14.06%, with the assessed value of all CFTOD property rising from $13.43 billion in FY 2023 to $15.32 billion in FY 2024. According to the budget, the lower millage rate for 2024 would still yield a 6.38% increase in collections from $177.1 million in FY 2023 to $188.4 million in 2024.
Administrator Glenton Gilzean Jr was quoted by the Orlando Business Journal as saying "[o]ur responsibility is to the taxpayers in the district. I see showing the world — Disney included and other rate payers — that my administration will call the balls and strikes fairly." In addition to The Walt Disney Company, numerous hotels, restaurants and shops operate on property supervised by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. At recent board meetings, some proprietors openly feared being drawn into the conflict between Disney and the district. The two sides are currently engaged in a legal battle to determine who will have ultimate authority over the land, which Disney has managed and funded for more than 50 years.
In spite of the lower millage rate, the higher property valuation will result in the district collecting upward of $11 million in additional taxes on district property year-over-year. What is not known is how the valuation increases were applied to specific properties. Each of the Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts--including the Disney Vacation Club properties--are individually appraised annually. DVC owners pay taxes via their annual dues based upon those valuations and the millage rates imposed by various taxing authorities. Changes to resort values typically vary from one resort to another.
DVCNews previously published details on the 2022 property tax calculations, illustrating how the millages are applied to each resort's valuation. Increased property valuations will also lead to higher contributions to city, county, school and library taxes billed to central Florida property owners.
The Disney tax district millage rate--formerly Reedy Creek Improvement District--declined year-to-year at least one other time in recent history. The rate went from 12.2908 per $1000 in 2019 to 11.1429 per $1000 in 2020.