Lucas Ranch Tax Dispute Ends
George Lucas has settled a longstanding tax dispute over the value of his 2,500-acre Skywalker Ranch headquarters in the rolling hills of Marin County, north of San Francisco.
The county had contended that the ranch, headquarters of Lucasfilm Ltd., is worth $84 million, while Lucas felt the land should be valued at $18 million. According to Mill Valley-based real estate attorney Douglas Ferguson, who has represented Lucasfilm during the six-year dispute with the county, both parties settled out of court on a property value of $52 million.
Ferguson said Lucasfilm had been paying property taxes of $852,000 annually based on the county’s assessment, but now will receive a substantial refund as a result of the settlement.
Ferguson said Lucasfilm is moving ahead with zoning applications to build a new home for Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic special effects company. The plan is to develop another Lucas-owned 2,000-acres that abut the original Skywalker Ranch. ILM is currently housed several miles from Skywalker in San Rafael.
Included in the new ILM complex will be a special effects studio, offices and guest lodgings.