Reedy Creek: There Will Be An Impact on Property Taxes, But It’s Too Early To Make Precise Determinations Now
Just days removed from being signed into law, it’s far too early to know exactly what the property tax ramifications are following the dissolution of the Reedy Creek Improvement District. As you probably already know, Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law, legislation that dissolves the Reedy Creek Improvement District on June 1, 2023. This dissolution will have an impact on the taxpayers of Orange and Osceola Counties, but just what that impact will be remains to be seen.
The Reedy Creek Improvement District is a Special District that was created in 1967 to help support and administer economic development within its boundaries. The District oversees land use and environmental protections and provides essential public services such as fire and emergency services, drainage and flood control, potable water production, electric power generation and distribution along with solid waste and recyclables collection and disposal, among others. The District essentially acts as its own city and is funded by assessing taxes and fees to the District’s landowners and lessee’s, predominantly made up of Disney owned property.
According to an article published by Florida Today, Reedy Creek Improvement District collects about $105 million per year to operate the essential public services within the district. In addition, there are approximately $58 million in annual debt payments made by Disney for bonds issued by the District. If there are no changes to this legislation between now and June 1, 2023, it is likely that this $163 million burden to cover debt payments and operate these essential services will be shifted to the taxpayers of Orange and Osceola County. Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph has said, “Orange County can’t just slap a new taxing district onto that area and recoup the money that was lost.” Additionally, in a statement by Osceola County Officials, they will begin an analysis to “understand the impacts in preparation for this going into effect, including evaluating any shifts in costs to Osceola as a result.”
What we do know at this time is that the burden of operating the essential public services within the current boundaries of the Reedy Creek Improvement District will likely have to be covered through an increase in Property Taxes across both Orange and Osceola Counties. While it is very early in the process, Orange County Tax Collector, Scott Randolph stated, “I don’t see how Orange County doesn’t raise property taxes by 20% to 25%, that’s what [the county] would probably have to do to cover this financial situation.”
There is still a chance that some of the legislation is adjusted and the ultimate impact on Orange and Osceola County taxpayers is limited, but it is a topic that FirstPointe Advisors, LLC will continue to monitor on behalf of our clients within the affected areas.
FirstPointe Advisors, LLC is a full-service ad valorem tax service provider. We provide you with the experience of a national firm with a regional focus. At FirstPointe Advisors, LLC, you come first. We strive to provide innovative solutions to your property tax needs. With our experience and first-class client service, we will create an easy review and appeal process for you. Our experience spans across Florida’s 67 counties in representing owners of residential and commercial properties.