Crescent Resources Sues Flagler Property Appraiser Over Grand Haven Assessment

They apparently missed their deadline to file a petition with the Value Adjustment Board so they have filed a lawsuit.

Palm Coast, FL – December 24, 2009Crescent Resources, the parent company of real estate developer LandMar Group has filed a lawsuit against Jay Gardner, Flagler County Property Appraiser over the assessed value of the Grand Haven golf course and clubhouse. There is a normal appeal process to the Value Adjustment Board for property owners who believe their assessments are incorrect. Crescent Resources apparently missed the appeal deadline date, prompting them to file the lawsuit.
The 2009 assessment for the golf property is $6,388,206 vs. the 2008 assessed value of $6,648,630. In 2005, the course and clubhouse were assessed for $7,875,169.
Crescent Resources and 130 of its subsidiaries (including LandMar Group) is in chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to earlier statements by company officials, they expect to have a reorganization plan approved enabling them to emerge from bankruptcy by late first quarter 2010.
Whenever property owners bring suit against the appraisers office, they are required to pay the amount of taxes that would be due should their argument for a reduced assessment prevail. Based on the amount Crescent Resources paid (two thirds of the total), they feel the property is over-assessed by about 50%.

2009 assessed values are based on the sales of comparable property during 2008. There were no golf courses sold locally during that time period, making the assessor’s role difficult but here are some less recent sales:

  • In 2004, The Grand Club paid $10,750,000 for the three golf courses comprising The Grand Club
  • In 2006, Ginn (Ginn-LA Hammock Beach Ocean LTD LLLP) paid $37,676,000 when they bought the Ocean Hammock Golf Course from Centex. Centex had paid $35,000,000 one year earlier when they bought the course from Lowe Ocean Hammock LTD
The amount of tax relief sought by Crescent Resources is approximately $36,000. It would be interesting to know what Crescent’s total legal bill will be if they continue to pursue the lawsuit.
2 replies
  1. George Meegan
    George Meegan says:

    It’s all in the cash flow, or is it?

    Valuing real property is not an art, but a science. The objective data is listed and market related comperables are listed to show how the appraiser arrives at the final value. Appraisals have to be respective and prospective accounting for economic conditions of the past and future. The past is known, the future has to be a projection of the past modified by new laws that effect the economy in the future. The Golf industry is a cash flow industry, and the discounted net cash flow for the 10 years past and future indicate value. The only adjustment to the appraisal process is to identify the highest and best use of the property, which could be something other than a Golf Course. The land the course is composed of could be subdiveded if the course were to close, and the buildings could be sold as commercial business locations. The final valuation is subjectively modified using the objective data, weighing the most reasonable parts and listing the logic used. The arguments for the court to hear, will be weighed in their objective parts and the subjective conclusions will also be heard, from both sides to give the court data for its final ruling. My guess is somewhere in between is the true value, and that would mean a decrease of the taxes for the course and therefore a positive for the owners and members, if the course is to remain open. A reduction of taxes would be an increase of cash flow if everything else remains constant, but if a further downturn happens and cash flow drops off to far, the status of the course could be in jeopardy.

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