OBS Files Lawsuit Saying Tax Assessment Too High

The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company has filed a lawsuit complaining that a 2003 tax assessment of its facilities and property by officials in Florida's Marion County was too high. According to the Ocala Star-Banner, OBS paid $152,032 in property taxes last November, an increase from $123,600 in 2002. The valuation of the land for tax purposes rose from $1,535,354 in 2002 to $3,449,280 in 2003.

OBS alleged in its complaint that valuation increase was "arbitrarily based on appraisal practices which are different from the appraisal practices generally applied by the property appraiser to comparable property within the same class and within the same county."

Marion property appraiser Villie Smith told the Star-Banner that the appraisal was accurate.

Before filing the lawsuit, OBS challenged the appraisal and won a recommended reduction of $689,780 in the property's appraised value from a special master appointed by Smith. However, according to the Star-Banner, a county adjustment board, which consisted of three county commissioners and two school board members, agreed with the initial assessment.