A Florida tax collector claims that Skyview’s operators failed to pay more than $350,000 in property taxes before it left Pensacola Beach for Atlanta two years ago. BEN GRAY / BGRAY@AJC.COM
Photo: Ben Gray
Photo: Ben Gray

Atlanta Ferris wheel operator reaches tentative deal on Florida taxes

An agreement in principle has been reached between the operators of Atlanta’s SkyView Ferris wheel and a Florida tax collector who sued to have the attraction sold to satisfy past due taxes and fees.

Escambia County tax collector Janet Holley said Monday that she hopes a final agreement can be signed this week on $277,161.10 owed in taxes, interest and fees as of June 30.

“We are in negotiation,” Holley told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday. “It looks favorable, but as of today I don’t have anything confirmed in writing.

Jason Evans, a spokesman for SkyView and its operator, Atlanta Partners LLC, the company Escambia County sued for the back taxes, said legal proceedings related to case have been canceled.

“There was never any chance that we were not going to pay what we fairly owed,” said Evans, who would not say how much money Atlanta Partners had agreed to pay. He said Atlanta Partners paid $50,000 toward the past-due bill, Evans said.

The 20-story Ferris wheel, which features 42 climate-controlled gondolas with leather seats and a glass floor, opened near Centennial Olympic Park in summer 2013 after moving to the city from Pensacola Beach, Fla.

SkyView operates under a contract between the city and Atlanta Partners and The Tabernacle Group. The Ferris wheel is on land owned by The Tabernacle that also encroaches on city-owned property.

In December, the Atlanta City Council extended the city’s contract with Atlanta Partners and The Tabernacle Group, allowing the companies to continue operating the attraction through 2015.

Evans would not release details on SkyView’s ridership. “We are doing such great business in Atlanta that we are going to be here many, many years to come,” the spokesman said.

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