Genting Group, a Malaysian company, has saved a substantial amount on their property taxes for the Bayfront development site they purchased. While it might seem like saving on taxes is always good news, it’s generally frowned upon when they save millions by appealing the assessed value a number of times. This has actually let to lawsuits between the country and Genting Group.
The Story Thus Far
Genting bought the Miami Herald building and a number of other properties for $236 million in 2011. These properties were all on Biscayne Boulevard, and in all, it amounted to 14 acres. The goal was to build a gaming and leisure complex on the property. They would call the complex Resorts World Miami. However, since 2015 when the last of the original buildings was demolished, nothing has happened with the property.
The company has been trying to reduce the costs on their land holdings by appealing the county property appraiser’s valuations on the land for the past three years. Thus far, they’ve been successful in this, and they were given the tax breaks that they wanted.
How Much Were the Cuts?
In 2012, they had their property valued reassessed at $88 million, which was quite a bit lower than the original assessment of $132 million. In 2013, they reduced this by 25%, and again by 20% in 2014. Thanks to the cuts that they received, they have been given $2.3 million by Miami-Dade County, along with 12% interest.
While getting property reassessed and getting tax breaks is common, what’s not common is the size of the tax breaks provided here. Genting has received millions, and this does not sit well with the county. In fact, the county attorney’s office has filed three lawsuits against the subsidiary that owns the properties, saying that the cuts were too large. Of course Genting disagrees, and they filed a suit against Miami-Dade’s Property Appraiser Pedro Garcia. They claimed that the valuations on the property were higher than they should have been.
In addition, they filed a suit against Miami-Dade as well as the state attorney’s office as a means to force the county and state to allow card games and slot machines in downtown at the former Omni mall, another property that they own.
What Will Happen?
This is a very interesting case, and it is far too early to tell what’s going to happen. With so many lawsuits flying in both directions, it will likely take quite a bit of time to determine what is going to happen and who will come out on top. Another question is what is going to happen to Resorts World Miami. As of now, there has been very little done to bring this vision to reality.