After a lawsuit called out the assessed value for a solar farm at Disney, Property Appraiser Rick Singh’s office said it made a mistake and had taken actions to make it right.
The suit was filed by Origis Energy USA, the company building the Disney solar farm scheduled to come online shortly after New Year’s.
The company said Singh’s office had not followed the rule capping assessment increases to 10 percent a year for the eight parcels it’s developing, leading to a $120,000 tax bill for the Miami-based company.
Singh’s office assessed the property at $24,390 an acre in 2017 and $73,646 per acre in 2018. Under the cap the assessment could have only increased by $243.90 year-over year, or $26,829 per acre.
Origis Energy is seeking a refund for the amount it was overcharged. The amount Origis was overcharged was not disclosed.
As reported by Gabrielle Russon of the Orlando Sentinel, the Property Appraiser’s office attributed the miscalculation to computer error. Singh spox Beth Watson explained that since the land is being leased, the system lifted the cap. On Wednesday, she said the cap had been reinstated.
The Origis is one of many lawsuits Singh’s office is battling, including more than 30 with Disney. Additionally, two former employees of the office filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Singh last month.
Among other things, the whistleblower suit alleges Singh manipulated finances, reports and audits to cover up unethical and illegal activities, led a hostile work environment that included sexual and racial harassment, and then terminated them in retaliation for earlier, internal complaints they had filed.
Singh’s office said the suit was “baseless” and “clearly made with the sole intention of damaging Mr. Singh personally.” The office also said the “majority of the allegations” in the suit have been investigated and debunked by former Chief Judge Belvin Perry.