The number of homestead exemptions on the Island has dropped since 2003, according to the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office.
In 2010, Anna Maria had 609 homesteaded properties, amounting to a decline of 6.3 percent from the 650 reported in 2003.
Bradenton Beach had the largest decline among the three Island cities, falling 13.6 percent from 2003, when there were 309 homestead properties in the city, while 267 were recorded for 2010.
Holmes Beach also lost homestead exemptions, and by inference population, between 2003 and 2010.
The city had 1,391 homesteaded properties in 2003, but that figure dropped to 1,337 in 2010, down 3.9 percent.
“There has been an out-migration” of people from the Island, said Dale Friedley of the MCPAO.
While it’s safe to say the Island has lost some population, the decline in homesteaded properties does not take into account the number of people who lived in those houses, Friedley noted.
To qualify for a homestead exemption and a $25,000 discount on a home evaluation, the owner must meet certain criteria to establish permanent residency at the address and submit application to the property appraiser’s office.