Governmental Affairs Committee

New Census report offers demographic, economic data about Manatee

  •  BY MARC R.

MANATEE — In the past five years, Manatee County’s population became more Hispanic and our salaries stayed about the same — which may be why we’re more likely to be living below the poverty level. But we did become slightly better educated and it became cheaper to own a house.

Those are some of the nuggets found in the 2014 American Community Survey, a trove of new demographic, economic and other data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Taken together and separately, the report allows Manatee’s estimated 335,840 residents to compare their hometown with other cities and counties in the nation.

“The American Community Survey is how America knows what America needs,” Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson said in a statement. “(I)t is the premier source of statistics for anyone needing detailed local information for small towns, neighborhoods and communities both rural and urban.”

Some highlights:

— The number of foreign-born residents in Manatee increased from 36,102 in 2009, or 11.5 percent of 313,011 residents; to 42,068, or 12.5 percent of 335,840 residents. Also, Hispanics made up 15.3 percent of Manatee residents last year, compared to 12.9 percent in 2009.

By comparison, in Sarasota County in 2009, 11.7 percent of residents were foreign born, compared to 12 percent in 2014. Hispanics made up 6.8 percent of Sarasota’s population in 2009, and 8.4 percent last year.

Last year, an estimated 23.3 percent of more than 19.3 million Floridians were Hispanic; compared to 20.6 percent of more than 18.2 million residents in 2009.

— The median annual income in Manatee County increased from $47,935 in 2009 to $49,228 in 2014. In Sarasota, it went from $49,013 in 2009 to $50,304 last year.

Statewide, the median income dropped from $47,750 in 2009 to $47,212 in 2015.

— The percentage of Manatee residents below the poverty level increased from 11.7 percent of residents were foreign born, compared to 12 percent in 2014. Hispanics made up 6.8 percent of Sarasota’s population in 2009, and 8.4 percent last year.

Last year, an estimated 23.3 percent of more than 19.3 million Floridians were Hispanic; compared to 20.6 percent of more than 18.2 million residents in 2009.

— The median annual income in Manatee County increased from $47,935 in 2009 to $49,228 in 2014. In Sarasota, it went from $49,013 in 2009 to $50,304 last year.

Statewide, the median income dropped from $47,750 in 2009 to $47,212 in 2015.

— The percentage of Manatee residents below the poverty level increased from 11.7 percent in 2009 to 14.9 percent last year. In Sarasota, the percentage of residents in poverty went from 9.8 percent in 2009 to 11.8 percent in 2014.

Statewide, the percentage of residents in poverty increased from 13.2 percent in 2009 to 16.7 percent in 2014.

— Manatee and Sarasota were among the 1,000 counties nationwide that saw the percentage of the population 25 and over with a bachelor’s degree increase from 2009 to 2014.

In 2009, 16.4 percent of Manatee residents 25 or older had a bachelor’s degree; in 2014, it was 16.7 percent.

In Sarasota in 2009, 17.8 percent of residents 25 or older had a bachelor’s degree; in 2014, it was 18.4 percent.

Statewide last year, 17.1 percent of residents 25 or older had a bachelor’s degree, compared to 16.6 percent in 2009.

— In Manatee, almost 70.5 percent of the 133,445 housing units in 2014 were owner-occupied, compared to 73.4 percent of the 132,428 units in 2009.

In Sarasota, almost 77.5 percent of the was owner-occupied in 2009; in 2014, it was 73.5 percent.

Last year, only 136 counties in the country had a home ownership of more than 80 percent.

Comparable statewide figures were not available.

— In Manatee, the median monthly mortgage payment for owner-occupied housing in 2014 was $948, compared to $1,057 in 2009. More than 1,100 counties saw mortgage costs drop.

The median monthly payment for rental housing in Manatee stayed about the same, from $933 in 2009 to $936 last year.

The median monthly mortgage payment in Sarasota in 2009 was $1,065; last year it was $894.

The median monthly cost for rental housing in Sarasota in 2009 was $1,002 in 2009, compared to $1,008 last year.

Statewide in 2009, the median monthly mortgage payment was $1,117 and median rent was in $934.

Last year, the amounts, respectively, were $1,036 and $998.

To search the American Community Survey, go to

Bradenton Herald article Friday December 4, 2015

County Commissioners approve new impact fee schedule
County-related impact fees
to rise 14 percent beginning April 18, 2016

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Dec. 3, 2015) – County Commissioners today voted to modify local impact fees over three years in order to adequately pay for new infrastructure built to accommodate new growth.

After a lengthy debate, Commissioners voted 5-2 on a new impact fee schedule that will increase the County’s current impact fees about 14 percent. The new fees are 80 percent of the amounts recommended by an independent consultant who evaluated the fees to ensure they’re in line with costs for construction.

The new fees will go into effect April 18, 2016. Commissioners decided to phase in over three years the impact fees up to 100 percent of the consultant’s recommendation.

Manatee’s new impact fee schedule will include a new category to fund libraries, which have not been constructed using impact fee revenues in the past. Impact fees are a one-time charge on new construction based on the type and size of new structure being built. These fees pay directly for new infrastructure demands and they help ensure that new d“The two things we looked at when making recommendations to the Board on the new fee rates were first, whether the initial increase would have disrupted the marketplace, and second the competitiveness with surrounding counties,” said County Administrator Ed Hunzeker. “The Board prudently chose to phase in the increase over several years starting at 14 percent. However, if the Citizens Financial Structure Advisory Board can recommend alternative strategies to fund our local government, we may be able to mitigate the future impact fee increases.”

Hunzeker was referring to a new advisory board that will meet for the first time this month to examine Manatee County’s finances and make recommendations to the County Commission on how Manatee’s funding structure compares to surrounding communities and what alternatives might be considered.

On Dec. 10 Manatee County Planning Commission will review a proposal from the Manatee School District to impose a new impact fee schedule for local schools. County Commissioners will consider that plan at their Jan. 7 Land Use meeting.

For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.

Update from the US Chamber of Commerce:

Jobs and small businesses at risk

In the dog days of summer there is one critical issue that needs to be addressed.

Will you take a moment to call your Representative’s office and voice your support for the thousands of small businesses and jobs that are being jeopardized by the expiration of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im)?

Small business owners across the country are urging their Members of Congress to reauthorize Ex-Im when they return from August recess, and they need your help.

Call 877-422-0349 to be connected now or add your name online in support of Ex-Im.

These are real people and jobs being impacted by Congress’ failure to act.

But it’s not too late for Congress to do the right thing and reauthorize Ex-Im before American jobs are shipped overseas and businesses are forced to shutter their doors.

Show your support for small businesses in your community by calling your Representative at 877-422-0349 or taking action online here:

Florida's Budget 2015 - Update from Representative Greg Steube

While the Legislature has passed the budget, the Appropriations Acts will not become law until it is signed Governor Scott. In general appropriations bills, Florida's Constitution (Article III, Section 8) proves the Governor with a "line item veto." Meaning, "the governor may veto any specific appropriation in a general appropriation bill, but may not veto any qualification or restriction without also vetoing the appropriation to which it relates." This means that your advocacy for projects and funding that you agree or disagree with has not reached completion and I would encourage you to email or write the Governor regarding projects or allocations that are of a concern or interest to you. In order to assist you in reaching Governor Scott, I have included his contact information and Florida's Constitution at the end of this correspondence.

Families and students have an entire 10 days to take advantage of the "Back to School Sales Tax Holiday" and our local entrepreneurs will be aided by the tax cut package as they continue to revitalize and encourage growth in areas that were once on the verge of failure. Additionally, funding is provided to generate research and development jobs in places where there were none. I also believe that the reduction of taxes on our farmers will help to fortify our agricultural community.

Varied and various members of our community will be able to benefit from the tax cuts and appropriations package passed during this Special Session and I hope you find the enclosed information to be of use to you, your family and your business community.
Your Friend and Neighbor,

Greg Steube
Proudly Serving Manatee and Sarasota Counties

State of Florida's $78.7 Billion Budget

Budget by the Numbers
Total Budget: $78.7 billion
• General Revenue Funds - $29.0 billion
• State Trust Funds - $22.6 billion
• Federal Funds - $27.1 billion
Compared to the FY 2014-15 Budget
• General Revenue Funds - up by $1.1 billion (4.0%)
• State Trust Funds - down by $167.2 million (-0.7%)
• Federal Funds - up by $666.0 million (2.5%)

I hope you will use the link and information below as you review Florida's General Appropriations Act and implementing bills. As you review the documents, keep in mind that an easy way to access the search feature of the documents, noted below, is to hit your "Ctrl" key and the "F" key at the same time or "Find/ Command+F" on a Mac. This will open the "Find" function at the top of the document.

Link to 2015A Appropriations Documents

The Governmental Affairs Committee attends an update from Representative Vern Buchanan and Transportation Secretary Bill Shuster at Keiser University.

A special thank you to Congressman Vern Buchanan for joining the Governmental Affairs Committee meeting to give his take on current issues and answer questions from committee members.


Florida Chamber Names 13 Distinguished Advocates in Tampa Region

Will Weatherford Voted 2014 Most Valuable Legislator

 Today, the Florida Chamber of Commerce announced House Speaker Will Weatherford as their 2014 Most Valuable Legislator and honored the following 13 Tampa region legislators with 2014 Distinguished Advocates awards:                

2014 Most Valuable Legislator Speaker Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel)- Concluded his speakership by continuing to champion tough issues like pension reform, lawsuit abuse reform and a bold pro-business agenda.

  • Rep. Ben Albritton (R- Bartow)- Championed a water storage agriculture bill.
  • Rep. Jim Boyd (R- Bradenton)- Led state pension reform efforts, which could have saved taxpayers $500 million a year in unfunded liability payments.
  • Sen. Jeff Brandes (R- St. Petersburg)- Advanced legislation that provided a private market framework for flood insurance, supported disaster savings account legislation and provided strong leadership in passing the Department of Transportation’s bill.
  • Rep. Richard Corcoran (R-Lutz)- Advocated Florida Chamber healthcare priorities, including telemedicine and scope of practice reforms.
  • Sen. Bill Galvano (R- Bradenton)- Advocated for meaningful education reform while also sponsoring changes to developments of regional impact review.
  • Rep. Ed Hooper (R-Clearwater)- Advocated for flood insurance legislation in the House and for crucial economic development priorities, as well as international initiatives in the budget.
  • Sen. John Legg (R-Lutz)- Championed digital learning, Career and Professional Education academies and school choice legislation as a means to improve Florida’s K-12 system.
  • Rep. Seth McKeel (R-Lakeland)- Helped advance several Florida Chamber-backed priorities in this year’s budget and advocated for state technology reform.
  • Rep. Cary Pigman (R-Sebring)- Championed meaningful reforms to Florida’s healthcare policies by sponsoring scope of practice legislation.
  • Sen. Wilton Simpson (R- Trilby)- Championed state pension reform efforts, water policy initiatives and wage protection legislation.
  • Rep. John Wood (R- Winter Haven)- Championed regulatory reform efforts.
  • Rep. Dana Young (R-Tampa)- Led the fight on pro-business policies in her position as Majority Whip.

The Florida Chamber presents these special awards to legislators who fought for pro-jobs initiatives during the 2014 session that help make Florida’s businesses more competitive and create more economic opportunities for Florida’s families. The Florida Chamber also released its annual publication How They Voted – which provides the grades for all 160 legislators so business leaders can see who voted for or against job creation and economic growth.












The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance is a strong community-driven membership organization that focuses on business growth, partnership, opportunities and awareness. Its proud members are a wide variety of large and small business owners and their dedicated employees within the community. All of its valued members are committed to best businesses practices, networking opportunities, training, seminars, education, business connections, economic development and community expansion. Member businesses are located in, or doing business in, the Lakewood Ranch area, near Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida. Our proud members are dedicated to promoting a vibrant business community and speaking up for business needs in the community. The Alliance also has a strong working relationship with local Chambers of Commerce and is focused on creating awareness for local non-profit organizations.

8430 Enterprise Circle

 Suite 140
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
Phone: 941-757-1664 
Fax: 941-362-2600 
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software