(941) 932-8866 FL Lic.#CQ1037894

Real estate blog of Bradenton and Sarasota homes

Category: Area Advice

Welcome to Manatee County
09/23/2012 09:27 PM


holmes beach for saleWelcome to Manatee County

The jewel of southwest Florida’s gulf coast, Manatee County lies along the Gulf of Mexico between Sarasota and Tampa. Here, residents enjoy an incomparable quality of life defined by 150 miles of shoreline along the Gulf, Sarasota and Tampa Bays, and the Manatee River. Shore birds and shell seekers share white sand beaches that stretch for miles along the island-fringed coast. Residents and visitors alike flock to Gulf and bay shores for swimming, boating, fishing and just plain taking it easy. Named for the West Indian Manatee, the county treasures this large, easygoing aquatic mammal. In the warmest months, manatees can be seen in area waters grazing through pastures of sea grass. They are constantly threatened by humans using the same waterways and are in danger of extinction. As a result, they are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Picturesque villages and resort communities dot the barrier islands and bay shores. Inland are bright cityscapes, modern family oriented developments, luxurious country club communities, and thousands of acres of peaceful countryside. The eastern part of the county, with its rural atmosphere, is an area of recent development and a center for fruit and vegetable production and colorful crops of flowers and cattle. Area history takes you deep into the past, to the arrival of Hernando DeSoto in Tampa Bay in 1539. In May of that year, he led an army of 600 conquistadors ashore at the mouth of the Manatee River in search of gold and other riches. DeSoto never found the gold he sought, and ignored the riches of land and water all around him. It was another three centuries before anyone discovered the treasure that DeSoto overlooked. But finally in 1842, Josiah Gates came upon the haven of the gentle Manatee, and when he and others laid out their settlement, they gave it the name of the creature the Spaniards had called the sea cow.

When the railroad came shortly after the turn of the last century, and bridges and highways made access easy, the once rural area became a mecca for retirees and vacationers. The first winter residents came in 1924, and by the 1930’s, major league baseball players were regular springtime residents. Some, like St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher Dizzie Dean, stayed through the winter. In 1969, the Pittsburgh Pirates began spring training in Bradenton, and today, they train at a newly renovated McKechnie Field.

Today, it is not surprising that so many people have chosen Manatee County. Their choice attests to the vitality of the area that continues to draw people from all walks of life, whether young families, corporate executives, or retirees.

Interstate 75, the major north-south route through the county, brought a boom in residential development to surrounding areas. The unincorporated community of Parrish in northeastern Manatee County is also developing rapidly.

In the past two decades, the county’s population has more than doubled, attracting national attention when Money Magazine ranked our area as the 21st Best Place To Live in America in 1997 and PC World ranked us as the 2nd Best Mid-Size City To Work From Home.


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Bradenton Real Estate New owners information kit
09/01/2012 09:40 AM


Residents of Manatee County enjoy convenient access to interstate and state highways, including I-275, I-75, US 301, US 41, State Road 64 and State Road 70. This access makes it easy for travelers to commute to and visit nearby cities and towns

   Fort Myers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87 miles

   Sarasota . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 miles

   Tampa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 miles

   Orlando . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119 miles


as well as other southern population centers, including:

   Miami . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221 miles

   Jacksonville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235 miles

   Atlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 496 miles


Manatee County also offers its residents and visitors convenient use of a public transportation bus system, which operates six days a week

Fares start at $1, enabling riders to travel as far south as Sarasota’s John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and as far north as Palmetto. Senior citizens (age 60+) and physically challenged individuals are entitled to discounted fares. To learn more about Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) and its schedules, visit its information booth located just outside the county courthouse (115 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton) or call 749-7116. Daily service to a variety of other destinations within Florida and the United States is also available via Greyhound Bus Line.


The Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport is located just 10 miles south of the city of Bradenton, offering air travelers their choice of seven major carriers and four commuter airlines. In addition to a wide range of customer and general aviation services, this global thoroughfare is also a U.S. Customs port of entry. Each year, in excess of 2 million people travel through its gates, helping to inject more than $800 million into the local economy.


Tampa Bay’s southern shore is home to one of Florida’s major seaports. Located in Palmetto, Port Manatee not only harbors facilities for shipboard cargo transportation, but – because of its close proximity to major highways and airports – also serves as a docking facility for the state’s thriving cruise industry.


About Registering Your Motor Vehicle

The Manatee County Tax Collector’s Office requires newcomers to register their vehicles within 10 days of employment or enrolling children in school. In order to register a vehicle, drivers must present a current driver’s license, proof of automobile insurance (from a Florida-licensed agent), title to the vehicle and a previous registration certificate. Newcomers can register vehicles, obtain license tags and purchase disabled parking permits at any of the following offices:


Bradenton/DeSoto Office:  819 U.S. 301 Blvd.

Downtown:  415 10th St. W.

Holmes Beach:  3340 E. Bay Dr.

Palmetto:  1341 U.S. 301

Sunshine State Tag Office:  6807 S.R. 70 E.


Vehicle identification numbers are verified when application is made for a license plate. Fees are based on vehicle weight. The state also requires its newcomers to obtain a Florida Title Certificate; if there is a lien against a vehicle, a transfer of title is also necessary. To learn more about this process or to make an appointment, call 741-4811 (24-hours-a-day). You can also access the Manatee County Tax Collector’s Office via the Internet at


about Obtaining a Driver’s License

The state requires newcomers who drive to apply for a Florida driver’s license within 30 days of becoming a resident. In order to obtain a license, be prepared to show proof of Florida registration of your vehicle, an out-of-state driver’s license and Social Security card. Drivers who currently possess a valid out-of-state driver’s license and have a driving record free of violations are only required to pass a vision test. However, drivers who have offenses against their license or drivers attempting to acquire a license for the first time must also pass a written exam (based on the Florida Driver’s Handbook) as well as a driving test. For additional information, call the Division of Drivers’ Licenses at 741-3017.


about Local Government

Manatee County operates under a constitutional form of government adopted in 1921. A seven-member commission based out of the Manatee County Government Administration Center in Bradenton meets weekly to address issues and concerns relative to county residents. In addition, the county also has an appointed administrator and its citizens, who take their voting rights very seriously, regularly elect a tax collector, property appraiser, supervisor of elections, sheriff and clerk of the circuit court.  


about Proving You’re a Resident

Proof of residence may be required before some employers will hire newcomers. In order to establish residency in Florida, a Declaration of Domicile must be filed; this document certifies that the applicant lives at a specified address. To file this declaration, visit the Clerk of Court’s Office; the document can also be notarized at this location.


about Registering To Vote

Newcomers interested in obtaining a voter’s registration card can do so by visiting the Supervisor of Elections Office (305 15th St. W., Bradenton; 741-3823) or any Department of Motor Vehicles office. To qualify, potential voters must be U.S. citizens of at least 18 years of age. Keep in mind that registration books close 29 days prior to elections.


about Obtaining Sporting Licenses

Manatee County requires its anglers and hunters to obtain the appropriate licensure. In addition to most sporting goods outlets and bait shops, these licenses can be obtained at any Manatee County Tax Collector’s office as well as area Wal-Mart and Kmart stores. Children under the age of 16 do not require licensure. Seniors over the age of 65 possessing a valid Florida driver’s license or Florida voter’s registration card are also not required to obtain sporting licenses. The fee structure for hunting and fishing licenses varies according to residency and use. License can also be purchased online at


about Local & State Taxes

Many newcomers are drawn to Manatee County because of its favorable tax structure, which features no personal income taxes or inheritance taxes. In lieu of this form of taxation, the government relies primarily on sales (the sales tax in Manatee County is seven percent; medical items and groceries are exempt from taxation) and property taxes for its main sources of income (homeowners in Florida who use their home as their residence and meet certain other requirements may be eligible for a $25,000 homestead exemption).


Bonds, stocks, accounts receivable and certain other personal property are subject to a small annual tax

This tax is based on the value of these assets beginning on January 1 of each year and only applies to values in excess of $20,000 for individuals or $40,000 for husbands and wives filing jointly. Currently, the rate is 1 mill, which equates to $1 per $1,000. Other assets, including accounts receivable, annuities and mortgages held outside the state, are levied at a rate of 2 mills per $1,000. Additional information about this taxation is available from the Florida Department of Revenue at 800/352-3672 and on its website, located at


With the exception of real estate, personal property belonging to a business is subject to a tangible tax

To comply with this requirement, businesses must file a return prior to April 1 of each year; failure to file this return results in a 10 percent penalty. Tangible personal property and ad valorem (real estate) tax bills are mailed in mid-November of each year. For additional information about these taxes, contact the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s office at 748-8208 or visit its website at

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Manatee County important Telephone numbers
08/14/2012 12:22 PM


Important Telephone Numbers

(Unless otherwise indicated, the area code is 941)

Emergency Services

Access Center Helpline 741-3117
American Red Cross 792-8686
Coast Guard 794-1607
Emergency Ambulance, Fire, Police 911
Emergency Management 748-4501
Humane Society 747-8808
Poison Control 1-800-282-3171
Spouse Abuse Information 755-6805
Wildlife Rescue Service 750-9453

Police Department Non-Emergency Numbers

Florida Highway Patrol Bradenton Post 751-7647
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office 747-3011
Anna Maria Island Police Department 778-4711
Bradenton Police Department 708-6273
Bradenton Beach Police Department 778-6311
Holmes Beach Police Department 708-5804
Longboat Key Police Department 316-1977
Palmetto Police Department 723-4585

Fire Department Non-Emergency Numbers

Anna Maria Fire Department 741-3900
Bradenton Fire Department 708-6233
Braden River Fire Department 751-5611
Cedar Hammock Fire Department 751-7090
Duette Volunteer Fire Department 776-1782
Longboat Key Fire Department 383-5666
Myakka City Fire Department 322-2292
North River Fire District, Palmetto 721-6700
Parrish Fire Department 776-1459
Southern Manatee Fire-Rescue District 751-7675
Trailer Estates Fire Department 758-6453
Whitfield Fire Department 355-2013

Art and Culture

Art League of Manatee County 746-2862

Artist's Guild 746-4469

Arts Council of Manatee 708-3896
Asolo Center for the Performing Arts 351-9010
Bishop Planetarium 746-4131
DeSoto National Memorial 792-0458
Florida Gulf Coast Railroad Museum 365-5738
Gamble Plantation State Historic Site 723-4536
John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art 359-5700
Lemily & Son International Art Gallery 727-1146
Longboat Key Art Center 383-2345
Manatee Community College Fine Art Gallery 755-1511 x4251
Manatee Players Riverfront Theatre 748-5875
Manatee Village Historical Park 749-7165
Mote Marine Science Aquarium 388-4200
Selby Gardens’ Museum of Botany & the Arts 366-5730
Sweet Adelines 794-6252
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall 953-3366

Village of the Arts 795-6499

Business Information

Better Business Council 748-1325
Economic Development Council 748-3411  Fax 745-1877
Manatee Chamber of Commerce 748-3411  Fax 745-1877
E-mail: [email protected]

Civic Center and Auditoriums

Bradenton Municipal Auditorium 708-6220
Manatee Convention & Civic Center 722-3244
Neel Auditorium, Manatee Comm. College 755-1511 x4240


Public Schools Administrative Offices 741-7200
Manatee Vocational-Technical Center 751-7900

Colleges and Universities

Eckerd College 957-3397

International College 906-8627

Manatee Community College

   Main Campus 755-1511
   South Campus 493-3504
National-Louis University 1-800-366-6581

Ringling School of Art & Design 351-5100
University of Sarasota 379-0404

University of South Florida

   USF/Sarasota 359-4310
   New College 359-4200

Webster University 365-7040


Port Manatee/Tampa Bay 722-6621
Insurance & Treasurer Consumer Hotline 1-800-342-2762

Jobs and Benefits 741-3030
Proof of Residency Clerk of Court 741-4040

Property Appraiser 748-8208

Tax Collector/Tag Offices

819 US 301 Blvd., Bradenton 741-4800
415 10th St. W., Bradenton 741-4800

1341 US Hwy. 301, Palmetto 741-4800

3840 East Bay Dr., Holmes Beach 741-4800

Driver’s License

1600 First St. W., Bradenton

   Information 741-3010
   Appointments 741-3015

Manatee County

Animal Control 742-5933
General Information 748-4501
Clerk of Circuit Court 749-1800  Fax 749-7194
Library Services 748-5555  Fax 749-7191
Parks & Recreation 742-5923  Fax 749-7172
Sheriff’s Office 747-3011  Fax 749-5401
Voter Registration 741-3823 Fax 741-3820


Anna Maria City Hall

10005 Gulf Drive 708-6130  Fax 708-6134

Bradenton City Hall

101 Old Main Street 708-6200  Fax 708-6256

Bradenton Beach City Hall

107 Gulf Dr. North 778-1005  Fax 778-7585

Holmes Beach City Hall

5901 Marina Drive 708-5800  Fax 708-5812

Longboat Key Town Hall

501 Bay Isles Road 316-1999

Palmetto City Hall

516 Eighth Avenue West 723-4570  Fax 729-9177


Elder Helpline 742-5818
Columbia Blake Medical Center 792-6611 or 798-6140
Health Department 748-0747

Kid Care 748-0747 x1250

Manatee County Dental Society 755-4860
Manatee County Medical Society 755-3411
Manatee County Public Health Clinics 748-0666
Manatee Memorial Hospital 746-5111 or 745-7233
VA Clinic - Ellenton 721-0649


Central Library 748-5555
Braden River Branch 727-6079
Island Branch 778-6341
Palmetto Branch 722-3333
Rocky Bluff Branch 723-4821
South Manatee Branch 755-3892

Newspapers - Dailies

The Bradenton Herald

P.O. Box 921, Bradenton 748-0411

The Sarasota Herald Tribune - Manatee AM

905 Sixth Avenue West, FL 742-6120

Newspapers - Non-Dailies

Anna Maria Island Sun 778-3986
Bradenton Shopping Guide 748-4344
El Mensaje Latino 351-8886
The Gulf Coast Business Review 330-1588
Islander Bystander 778-7978
The Longboat Observer 383-5509
Manatee Magazine 921-7228

North River News 722-1088

Other Services

Community Connections

Manatee Aging Network 753-4149
Neighborly Senior Services 758-9969

Manatee Religious Services 753-6749
Volunteer Services 746-7117

Post Office


Sports and Recreation

Blackstone Park 722-9053
Buffalo Creek Golf Course 776-2611

Duette Park 776-2295
East Bradenton Center 742-5948
G T Bray Activity Center 742-5974
G T Bray Administration 742-5923
G T Bray Aquatic Center 742-5932
G T Bray Gymnasium 742-5926

G T Bray Softball Complex 792-9816
G T Bray Walton Racquet Center 742-5973
Manatee County Golf Course 792-6773
Palma Sola Park Softball 792-9005

Rye Wilderness 776-0900
75th Street Park 792-9808

YMCA Outpost 753-0954



Anna Maria Island Little League 778-1908

Braden River Little League 794-3070

Braden River Soccer Club 756-2034

Bradenton Horseshoe Club 739-2387

Bradenton Shuffleboard Club 747-6184

East Manatee Bulldogs Football 758-8544

Manatee Area Youth Soccer Organization 794-3159

Manatee County Babe Ruth League 753-7004

Manatee County Church Softball Association 755-3009

Manatee East Little League 747-4996

Manatee East Soccer 744-0320

Manatee Lightning Soccer 795-0670

Manatee Magic Soccer 795-0670

Manatee West Little League 794-1512

Manatee Wildcats Football 746-3021 or 798-3235

North River Little League - American 723-9760

North River Little League - National 721-9008

North River Soccer 729-3071

Pram Sailing 722-3140

13th Avenue Little League 746-7470

Westside United Soccer 792-1947


Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball 747-3031
Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL Football 800-282-0683
Tampa Bay Devil Rays Baseball 727-825-3100
Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Hockey 813-229-8800
Tampa Bay Mutiny Soccer 813-288-0096


Greyhound Bus Lines 747-2984
Manatee County Area Transit 749-5916
Commercial & Cruise Lines - Manatee County Port Authority 722-6621
Sarasota Bradenton International Airport Information Line 359-5200


Bradenton Public Works 708-6300
Manatee County Utilities 792-8811
Palmetto Public Works 723-4580

Water, Sewer, Garbage Service

Unincorporated areas

Manatee County Public Utilities 792-8811
after hours 795-5457


Florida Power & Light Co. 917-0708
Peace River Electric Coop 722-2729
*Service determined by area. Call with either former occupant’s name, or serial number on front of electric meter.

Natural Gas

TECO People's Gas System 366-4277
(Hook-ups available in metropolitan Bradenton, Palmetto, and some rural areas.)


   Business 800-483-5200
   Residential 800-483-4200
*Serves all county residents.

Cable Television

Time Warner Comm. 748-1822
Comcast Cable 371-4444

Visitors Information

Convention & Visitors Bureau 729-9177 or 800-733-7935

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