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Date of Issue: December 06, 2007

Island taxpayers generously supporting county budget

Island taxpayers are doing their fair share to pay for the budgets of Manatee County and the three Island cities. Some might even say they’re paying more than their fair share, considering Anna Maria Island accounts for 16 percent of the county’s ad valorem taxes collected, but has just 2.7 percent of the county’s population.

And while most of the major taxpayers on Anna Maria Island are corporations, partnerships, or limited liability companies, some individuals have made the Top 25 list of most taxes paid to Manatee County for the 2007-08 fiscal year.

Not surprisingly, Benderson Development LP, operating as Anna Maria Associates and owners of the Anna Maria Centre Shops in Holmes Beach, topped the taxpayers’ list with a bill for $101,839.

But were it not for operating as separate companies, Barbara Rodocker of BridgeWalk Partners LLC - owner of the BridgeWalk Resort in Bradenton Beach - might have headed the list.

While BridgeWalk Partners came in second on the Top 25 list with $89,177 in taxes, Rodocker’s Silver Surf Motel in Bradenton Beach garnered fourth place with $80,985.

  Collectively, Rodocker’s companies are slated to pay $170,162 to Manatee County Tax Collector Ken Burton. Of that amount, only about 15 percent - approximately $25,500 - will reach the Bradenton Beach city treasury.

Only two individuals made the first 10 on the Top 25 taxpayers list. Paul Atkins of Holmes Beach was seventh with $71,087 in taxes, while Stew Bertron of Anna Maria took the No. 10 spot with a tax bill for $60,417. Efforts to reach either individual for comment were unsuccessful.

 Other individuals in the Top 25 were William Jackson of Bradenton Beach at No. 12 with $55,580; Stephen Walker of Anna Maria at No. 13 with $55,056; Gary Perrine of Holmes Beach with a tax bill of $53,240; Frank Davis of Holmes Beach at No. 18 with $48,236; Lucette Gerry from Holmes Beach was No. 19 with $48,236; Anna Maria’s Joe Garcia took the 21st spot with $47,392 in taxes; Jim DePoore, also from Anna Maria, was No. 23 at $45,655, while Robert Miller of Anna Maria concluded the Top 25 list with a tax bill of $43,755.

If the taxes paid separately by Davis and wife Jo were added together, the couple would have taken No. 5 on the Top 25 list with $78,775 in taxes paid.

Ed Chiles, owner of the Sandbar and BeachHouse Restaurants, failed to take the No. 2 spot because the restaurants are taxed in Anna Maria and Bradenton Beach and both are operated as separate companies. Collectively, however, the two companies would have placed second with a combined tax bill of $100,891. The BeachHouse, owned by ELRA Inc., finished at No. 20 with a tax bill of $47,645.

 Among celebrities making the list of Top 100 Island taxpayers were country and western singer Lee Greenwood of Holmes Beach and Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge of Bradenton Beach. Also in the Top 100 is the late baseball hall-of-famer Warren Spahn and members of his family. The Anna Maria aunt of movie star Cameron Diaz did not make the Top 100 list.

Rodocker said it was a dubious distinction to be so high on the list of those paying the most in taxes to support Manatee County’s budget.

In recent years, a number of Island motels have converted to condominiums as taxes for non-homesteaded properties skyrocketed, but motels continue to be appraised for tax purposes as condominiums as the “highest and best use” for the property.

 Rodocker, however, is dedicated to the motel resort industry and believes that with BridgeWalk, she has created one of the finest products possible in the industry, something she is definitely proud of.

 Judging by the tax rolls, the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s office would certainly agree with that “assessment.”

Efforts to reach Chiles for comment on his spot in the standings were unsuccessful.

The complete list of the Top 25 Island taxpayers and tax amounts due Manatee County for 2007-08 is:

  • 1. Anna Maria Associates LP - $101,839
  • 2. BridgeWalk Partners LLC - $89,177
  • 3. Bali Hai Corp. - $82,318
  • 4. Silver Surf Motel - $80,985
  • 5. Blue Water Beach Club - $71,372
  • 6. La Costa Development Corp. - $71,148
  • 7. Paul Atkins, Holmes Beach - $71,087
  • 8. BB Time Share Vacations Inc. - $70,951
  • 9. Publix, Holmes Beach - $62,490
  • 10. Stew Bertron, Anna Maria - $60,417
  • 11. Tropic Isle Investors - $56,472
  • 12. William Jackson, BB - $55,580
  • 13. Stephen Walker, AM - $55,056
  • 14. Gary Perrine, HB - $53,240
  • 15. Southern Region Industrial Realty - $52,779
  • 16. AMI Beach Resort - $51,554
  • 17. Raps Development - $51,203
  • 18. Frank Davis, HB - $49,614
  • 19. Lucette Gerry, HB - $48,236
  • 20. Bradenton Beach Elra Inc. - $47,645
  • 21. Joe Garcia, AM - $47,392
  • 22. Druenti Inc. - $47,157
  • 23. Jim DePoore, AM - $45,655
  • 24. Reliance Tidemark Partners - $44,789
  • 25. Robert Miller, AM - $43,755