Longboat Key, Florida | November 14th, 2017 – November is turning out as eventful for Longboat Key, especially with our Coldwell Banker American Dream Open House Event held in the beginning of this month.
Besides this showcase of some of our top selections of real estate for sale on Longboat Key, it pleases us to note too that the town and Sarasota jointly hosted on November 8 a grand opening celebration of the island’s Bayfront Park.
Dividends from Sarasota–Longboat Partnership
The celebration highlighted the renovations in the 8.5-acre facility on 4052 Gulf of Mexico Drive. The day’s events included a dog-training demonstration at its dog park, a fishing clinic at the fishing pier, and pickleball, paddleboard and kayak demonstrations. Other park facilities include a children’s playground, basketball courts, bicycle facilities, pavilion and picnic area. Bayfront Park also has an area for fitness classes and a technology hub.
The successful completion of the Bayfront Park revamp was notably accomplished through the cooperation between the town and the county. Sarasota County contributed $2 million to the project while Longboat Key shelled out $1.02 million. Members of the town’s Rotary, Kiwanis, Rotary, Garden Club and other residents pitched in contributions as well.
Redrawing the Town’s Boundary Moving Forward
Significantly, the spirit of cooperation between Sarasota and Longboat Key shall again be at work as the town moves forward with its plan to consolidate its area under one county. Longboat Key officials currently want to settle once and for all the island’s split jurisdiction between Sarasota and Manatee counties which result in certain complications such as fairness in taxation among residents.
Early this November, the Longboat Key and Sarasota County commissioners met jointly to explore the possibility of resetting the county lines so all of the town is under Sarasota County. This meeting represents the first time that the town’s officials presented their “one county plan” outside of the island.
Tax Bite on Properties
Weighty factors are at play on Longboat Key’s drive particularly on property taxes. According to Longboat Town Manager Dave Bullock, town residents on the island’s Manatee side pay more than $2.5 million in property taxes to Manatee County which they won’t pay if they were in the Sarasota side. While that amount rises each year because of the appreciation of property values, the said island residents get no additional service, Bullock said.
A presentation to Longboat Key commissioners in December affirmed this tax disparity. It showed that that while residents of the barrier islands constitute less than 3% of Manatee County’s population, they account for up to 15% of the county’s total property tax collections. Longboat Key started its latest analysis of a one-county initiative in May. It included a research showing that if all of the town was put under Manatee County, current residents on the Sarasota side would pay $6.2 million more in additional property taxes.
Market Watch Continues
Redrawing our town’s boundaries, however, would entail long and complicated steps. For now, Longboat Key officials are considering a referendum to ask town voters if they would support the one-county plan. Then the change has to pass the state Legislature, and the governor sign a law amending the boundary descriptions of Sarasota and Manatee counties. The legislation would also need to resolve debt payments within the exited county.
Thus, moving forward our eventful November, we can expect more developments which could excite our market. Contact our Judy Kepecz-Hays team if you’re selling or buying real estate. We can walk you through the local happenings that weigh on a successful sale or purchase.