- July 24, 2017
The Longboat Key and the Sarasota County commissions, in a joint meeting Nov. 1, will discuss the possibility of redrawing county lines so all of Longboat Key is in Sarasota County.
Commissioners from both jurisdictions will meet in Sarasota to discuss the possibility, among other Longboat issues.
A memo from Longboat Key Town Manager Dave Bullock states Longboat residents in Manatee County pay a collective $2.6 million more in taxes than if their property was in Sarasota County, but don’t receive any additional services. In December, Longboat commissioners were shown that while residents of the barrier islands make up less than 3% of Manatee County’s population, they pay up to 15% of the county’s property taxes.
“This inequity in property taxes has caused the Town to begin looking seriously at the issue and begin a discussion about how to achieve fairness in taxes for our residents,” Bullock wrote.
Longboat Key began its latest analysis of a one-county initiative in May, which included a study that said if the entire Key was in Manatee County, current Sarasota County residents would pay an additional $6.2 million in property taxes.
To create a boundary change, the Florida Legislature would have to pass, and the governor sign, a law amending both Manatee and Sarasota County’s boundary descriptions in the state’s statutes. The law would also have to address debt payments within the county being exited.
The two commissions will also discuss progress on Bayfront Park, the Longboat Key arts center, utility undergrounding, the barrier island traffic mitigation study, Hurricane Irma, the Gulf of Mexico Drive corridor study and regional beach management collaboration.
The meeting will be at 1:30 p.m. in the Think Tank at the County Administration Building, at 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.