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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Sales tax increase would fund many Island projects

Island municipalities would get an unexpected annual windfall of funds for a variety of projects if the proposed countywide half-cent tax increase passes on March 9.

"For Anna Maria, we could expect to receive about $97,000 annually from the increase," Anna Maria Mayor SueLynn said, according to figures supplied by Manatee County Commissioner Jane Von Hahmann.

Bradenton Beach would get an estimated $81,000 each year for the 10 years the tax would be in effect, while Holmes Beach could expect around $209,000 annually.

The tax money would not have to be used strictly for infrastructure as a previous sales tax increase required, the mayor said.

"The list of uses has been expanded to include stormwater runoff projects, new buildings, creating parks or buying lands for recreation, and other areas. That gives us a lot of options," SueLynn added.

Von Hahmann told the mayors that studies have shown that 25 percent of the tax increase would be paid by visitors to the Manatee area.

"So, it's not all coming just from local taxpayers," the mayor observed.