November 30, 2012 – Last month, Duke Energy offered to pay Citrus County $27 million of its $35 million property tax bill. The local appraiser couldn’t justify the lower amount and rejected the offer. Duke’s response: pay even less and go to court to figure out the rest. Duke Energy handed the county a check for $19 million on Wednesday, and said it will file a lawsuit today that explains why it shouldn’t have to pay the full amount. It’s a tactic, observers say, that big businesses use to pressure local governments in property tax disputes. It’s a multimillion dollar, high-stakes game that can have dire consequences for small communities like Citrus County.