Florida Shed Tax Battle

An ongoing legal spat between the Florida State Fair Authority and the Hillsborough County property appraiser regarding a privately owned amphitheatre on public property remains at an impasse.

The fair authority contends that 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre in Tampa, owned by Live Nation, sits on land that is exempt from property taxes. However, the county appraiser disagrees, saying the venue isn’t exempt unless it’s used for government-only purposes according to WFLA-TV. Concerts don’t fit that criteria.

Live Nation has reportedly paid more than $800,000 in property taxes on the 20,000-capacity shed since 2004.

Another point inspiring the appraiser’s office to pursue its case is a report of a development plan for the fairgrounds area that includes hotels, restaurants, office buildings and a soccer stadium, the TV station said.

“If they start to grant immunity to one private entity … the worry is they can now say it’s a precedent and will make all of that possibly tax free, maybe the land tax free,” Warren Weathers, chief deputy property appraiser, told WFLA-TV. “Well, that would be an unfair advantage to those hotels and office buildings versus the ones that would be private right across the street.”