The Rocket Man is going after the taxman.

Elton John has filed a lawsuit against the Fulton County, Georgia, tax assessor's office, alleging that the county thinks too much of his 12,000 square-foot Peachtree Street condo.

Two years ago, tax assessors valued John's luxurious pad located in Atlanta's trendy Buckhead neighborhood at $4.6 million--$900,000 more than what it's worth, according to John's camp.

"I just don't see how the county can justify that number," Craig Klayman, a tax consultant representing the 59-year-old musician, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, adding that money isn't the issue here. "It's just too high looking at what everybody else is valued at."

As it stands, John is expected to shell out $77,250 a year in taxes or, in layman's terms, a year's worth of weekly elaborate floral displays for the "Candle in the Wind" singer's home in the English countryside.

If he prevails, he'll save $16,000 a year.

A critical audit released last year of the property valuing process in Fulton County reportedly turned up inconsistencies between tax values and sales values, and eventually prompted three of the five county assessors to resign.

Fulton Superior Court Judge Wendy Shoob has ordered John and the county to try and work out their $900,000 differences through mediation to prevent the need for a trial, the Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday.

John's finances have been all over the balance sheet lately. Last month the Britain's Daily Mail tabloid agreed to pay John $188,000 in libel damages after running an article bashing the singer's benevolence, saying he was less than a gracious host at his annual charity gala, the White Tie and Tiara Ball.

Practically on the same day, however, it was announced that Lestat, the $12 million vampire-themed musical John scored with songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, was going to bite the dust after 39 performances. The widely panned show, based on Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, bowed out May 28 after playing to 53 percent capacity and raking in far less cash than it needed to keep its undead head above water.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond--where John is currently prepping for Summer in the City 2006 tour dates in Birmingham, Manchester and Oxford--his other latest theater venture, Billy Elliott the Musical, has become a smash hit on the London stage and is set for a Broadway debut in 2007.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share