The Orange County Tax Collector issued the final 2018 property tax bills for the 10 Disney Vacation Club resorts located at Walt Disney World. Based on our unofficial calculations, the 2018 final tax levies are slightly higher than the 2017 tax bill for seven DVC resorts, moderately higher for two of the resorts, and significantly lower for one resort.
Although the final tax amounts have increased for nine of the ten DVC resorts, all ten resorts should be receiving a credit that will be applied to their 2019 annual maintenance fees. When the DVC Board of Directors approved the 2018 annual budgets at the Annual Meeting in December 2017, it could only estimate what the 2018 tax amounts would be. Those estimates, in turns out, were higher than the actual 2018 tax amounts that were just released. Therefore, each DVC resort at Walt Disney World will receive a credit for the overpayment ranging from $0.1073 per point for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas to $1.7722 per point for Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
The chart below shows the 2018 tax amounts for the 10 DVC resorts. The State of Florida offers a 4% discount on property taxes if paid in November and DVC takes advantage of this discount. The last line on the chart shows the credit that should be applied to each resort’s 2019 maintenance fees.
There are two components that make up how property taxes are computed for each resort: the mill rate and the property appraisal. In 2018, the total mill rates for the two resorts located in Lake Buena Vista (Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and Disney’s Old Key West Resort) increased 0.49% from 26.3733 to 26.5035. The other eight DVC resorts located in the City of Bay Lake saw their mill rates increase 0.28% from 26.5644 to 26.6401.
Seven of the eight taxing authorities’ mill rates for 2018 either stayed the same or decreased. But the overall mill rate increased due to a 3.07% increase in the mill rate for the Reedy Creek Improvement District.
The second component that impacts tax amounts is the appraisal values set by the Orange County Property Appraiser. As displayed in the chart below, six DVC resorts saw a minuscule increase in their property values in 2018, and a seventh resort had an increase of only 2.5%. Only two resorts had significant increases in their property appraisals: Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge had a 10.0% increase and Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows saw its appraisal increase by 24.3%.
The only resort to have its property appraisal drop was Copper Creek. Its appraisal decreased from $31,390,840 to $10,616,381. Its not unusual for a resort to have a depressed appraisal while it is being built, but it is unprecedented to see a decline of such magnitude.
One interesting byproduct of Copper Creek’s reduced property appraisal is the effect its had on the resort’s maintenance fees. Originally, Copper Creek was saddled with the highest annual dues — $7.2625 per point — of DVC resort at Walt Disney World. But once its tax amount is recomputed, Copper Creek now has the lowest annual dues amount — $5.4903 per point — of any of the 14 resorts in the DVC system. This does not mean that Copper Creek will have a low maintenance fee amount in 2019. Instead, it will probably continue to exceed $7.00 per point in anticipation of a rise in the resort’s property appraisal in 2019.
The proposed budgets and tax information for 2019 for the DVC resorts will be released a few weeks before the DVC Annual Meeting, scheduled for December 13, 2018 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. As the budgets are released, DVCNews will share the information with our readers.
Wil Lovato is a contributor to DVCNews.com and has been a Disney Vacation Club owner since 2009. His DVC Home Resorts include Bay Lake Tower, Animal Kingdom Villas, and Aulani. He can be found posting on many Disney discussion forums under the username of “wdrl.”