iis a mid-size Florida county with 150 miles of coastline, 741 square miles of land, and 311,000 residents. The islands are home to 16,000 people while Florida’s Gulf Islands welcome more than two million visitors every year.
Located on US 41 between Tampa and Sarasota, the area is surrounded by fresh and salt waterways and over 20 miles of Florida beaches of which many are shaded by tall Australian pines.
Bradenton residents have a short distance to beaches, shopping, dining and family activities.
Count a tax-friendly environment as one more reason for people to do business in Florida. Kiplinger.com last week ranked Florida as the fourth most “tax-friendly” state in the union. Rankings place Florida behind only Wyoming, Alaska and South Dakota, and ahead of Nevada, in terms of a states charging the lowest income, sales, gas and sin taxes.
So what does having the most tax-friendly environment in the South mean for attracting business to the Sunshine State? According to Mark Huey, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County, it’s another tool to help in recruitment and retainment of companies. “This is part of Florida’s story that drives economic growth,” he says.
“Our favorable tax position drives talent of all kinds here, and that’s good for business.” But Huey noted that the Kiplinger’s rating focused on personal taxes, not on business taxes, the latter of which proves more valuable when it comes to economic development. For business recruitment, Huey says the state could still improve the tax climate. Commercial lease taxes and manufacturing taxes in particular could use reform, he says.
Real estate agents, though, say the ranking serves as just the most recent listing pushing homebuyers to Florida. Xena Vallone, president of the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, says the prospect of lower property taxes and income taxes in particular drive many buyers from the Northeast toward Florida. “They know that when you cross the border you eliminate income taxes right away,” she says.
Indeed, all five states topping the Kiplinger listings charge no income tax. They also don’t charge any inheritance or estate taxes. And Florida also boasts a lower median property tax than even some states ranked as more tax-friendly.