Rye Preserve – Experience Old Florida in Parish

Want to experience Old Florida? Look no further than Rye Preserve in Parish. About an hour drive from Anna Maria Island, Rye Preserve is 145 acres of trails that run through sand pine scrub, xeric oak scrub, oak hammocks, and the river community.

Here, you can see all kinds of local wildlife, including rare species like the gopher tortoise and Florida scrub-jay.

Rye Preserve offers; hiking/nature trails (dogs are welcome), kayak/canoeing trails & launch, non-motorized bicycle trails, managed fishing, picnic areas and pavilions, wildlife viewing areas, horseback riding, and tent Camping!

Rye Preserve is open daily from sunrise to sunset, and the ranger station here is open Fridays and Saturday, from 3PM – 7PM.

Address:
905 Rye Wilderness Trail
Parrish, FL 34219

Emerson Point Preserve is a 365 Acre Preserve in Palmetto

Emerson Point Preserve in Palmetto is absolutely beautiful! It is a 365 acre preserve full of hiking and kayak trails that run through coastal Florida habitats.

Emerson Point Preserve offers great for dogs, and a good space for them to swim around in the water. You can fish and kayak/canoe here!
*Fishing is only permitted along the perimeter of the preserve and subject to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regulations*

Emerson Point Preserve has ancient/historic remains of the individuals that inhabited the area before Manatee County was officially settled.

You can also rent out pavilions here for a party!

Jiggs Landing Preserve – Freshwater Fishing and Canoeing

Located in East Bradenton, Jiggs Landing Preserve offers freshwater fishing, canoeing, and more. This place is very popular because of the boat ramp here, where you can launch right into Braden River. Jiggs Landing is open daily from sunset to sunrise, however if you want to get out on the water before it’s open, you can buy a one-time Gate Access Card to use the boat ramp at any time.

Jiggs Landing Preserve features: Picnic areas and pavilions, boardwalks, wildlife viewing areas, a nature-themed playground, kayak concessions, and food, bait, & drink concessions.

There are cabins, pavilions, and kayaks that you can rent here. Plus a guided river tour!

Address:
6106 63rd St E
Bradenton, FL 34203

Riverview Pointe Preserve is 11 Acres of Wildlife and Nature Trails

Riverview Pointe Preserve is a small park adjacent to DeSoto National Memorial Park in Bradenton. It is 11 acres of uplands & coastal habitats. It’s a nice place to take your dog to for some exercise, fishing, and great for wildlife viewing.

Riverview Pointe Preserve is open daily, and hours vary with season.

Address:
8250 Desoto Memorial Hwy
Bradenton, FL 34209

Explore the Trails of DeSoto National Memorial Park in Bradenton

Located in North West Bradenton, not far from Robinson Preserve, is DeSoto National Memorial Park. DeSoto Memorial consists of 26 acres of land. 80% of this land is a mangrove swamp, and the remaining land consists of pine flatlands, mixed hardwoods, remnant shell ridges, and deposited dredge material from the Manatee River.

Explore the trails that run through the mangroves, and the beautiful 3,000 Ft. of shoreline. This is a great place to take your dog for a quick walk and a swim!

DeSoto National Memorial Park is named after Conquistador Hernando de Soto. In May of 1539, de Soto and his army made landfall in Tampa Bay. The park commemorates this landing.

Thursday – Sunday the park offers living history demonstrations/programs. There are touch artifacts, European armor that you can try on and touch, and more! Living history season is from December 2nd – April 17th, at 10:00AM, 11:00AM, 1:00PM, & 2:00PM .



Address:
8300 Desoto Memorial Hwy
Bradenton, FL 34209

There’s an App for that! Track the Free Island Trolley with the myStop App

The day where you can track the Island trolley in real-time is finally here! There is now a phone application, called myStop, that will provide you with real-time Anna Maria Island trolley info. The days of guessing your pickup time are over with this FREE app you can download easily.

myStop Mobile is an awesome tool to get trolley stop details, and to see if the trolley is on time or late to its next stop. Make sure you pick the “5 AMI Trolley” option to get our specific trolley’s information. A map will display stop locations – remember that north destinations pick up on the east side of the road and south destinations pick up on the west side.

If you for some reason don’t have a smart phone on you, but are near a computer, juts visit this site to view the trolley info/times.

As if the free trolley here on Anna Maria Island could get any better! Tip from a local: make sure you have your shoes ON, not just in your beach bag when getting on the trolley, the drivers are very strict!

Dog Park at Central Park in Holmes Beach

If you have traveled to AMI with your furry friend before, you have probably been to the dog park before! But if you and your dog are Island newbie’s, you may not be aware of the small dog park in Holmes Beach.

Let me give you the run down. There is a park on Flotilla Drive in Holmes Beach called Central Park. Here, there is a small area just for dogs to run around and do dog stuff.

It’s nothing much, but there are benches to relax at and some shade. And with dogs being NOT PERMITTED on the Island beaches, it’s nice to have a place just for them.

*This park is managed by the City of Holmes Beach*

Market Update: Taxes!

Tis the season, Property Tax Season that is! I wanted to provide a little information on Anna Maria Island property taxes for this newsletter.  Let’s discuss the Truth in Millage (TRIM) notice that is normally sent out Mid-August each year.  It is critical within a few days that you check your TRIM statement, as the deadline for appealing your property tax assessment is 25 days from the date of the notice.  For those that do not receive the TRIM notice real time I suggest you make arrangements to receive the TRIM notice electronically or late August sign in to ManateePAO.com to review your TRIM notice.  Over the years I have appealed my property assessment twice and have found compromise with the County both times.  Once using and attorney and once on my own.

Using an attorney to help is not inexpensive, the service can run $3,500 and up.  In most cases an attorney is utilized when a comprehensive market price analysis of similar properties is complicated, the building is newly erected AND the potential property tax savings exceeds the attorney fees.  In my case there were less than a handful of similar properties on Anna Maria Island and the market value of the property is a combination of income generation and real property value.  The attorney helped the most with the process of how to appeal however I would not suggest using an attorney if you want to save your own time on the appeal.  I found I did a great deal of the heavy lifting as it related to the analysis of comparing similar properties and making a case why the market value of my property was excessive. 

My second appeal was much less complicated so I handled the appeal on my own.  I would hazard a guess most Anna Maria Island owners can handle an appeal on their own if needed.  Reminder, your property taxes are calculated by taking millage rates multiplied by your Assessed value.  Millage rates are determined by local governments and are passed via public budget meetings you can attend.  The below process is to determine if your assessed value has been improperly estimated and should not be confused with the total proposed property tax increase.  Assessed value and property tax are apples and oranges.  Here is my suggested process for determining if an appeal is even worth your time: 

1. Compare your assessed value last year to this year as a percent increase.

2. Is your Anna Maria Island property Homestead? 

YES, then the assessed value increase is CAPPED by the 1995 Save Our Homes act.  Skip to #3

NO, ok likely you are seasonally renting your property so Homestead is not available.  Skip to #4

3. Congratulations, your assessed value is normally CAPPED around 3%.  The CAP DOES change from year to year based on the Consumer Price Index.   Is your year to year change more than the CAP?

If the answer is YES, Skip to #5. If the answer is NO, Skip to #6. 

4. Ok, your Anna Maria Island property is not homestead.  The challenge now at hand is to determine what the average increase is for most other Anna Maria Island similar properties.  You can do that by calling me, talking with a few friendly neighbors, or staying in tune with market appreciation on the island by reviewing our newsletters.  The most important part of this analysis is to ask if your assessed value percent increase from last year is within reason? 

If the answer is YES, skip to #6.    If the answer is NO then move to #5.

5. Ask yourself in the last 18 months or so, have you performed renovations to your property that required a permit?  For example, adding a pool, adding square footage under AC?  Permits add value and hence your assessed value may increase more than the CAP or more than your neighbors increased year over year assessment.  Renovations made?  Considering the cost of the added PERMIT value does your assessed value increase now make sense? 

If the answer is YES, Skip to #6. If the answer is NO, move to #7.

6. Move on to more productive matters like going to the beach.  Filing for an appeal this year will likely not be a productive exercise.

7. So after all your analysis your TRIM notice still seems to high.  Call (941) 741-4058 and with your percent increase of assessed value at hand ask for details on why the increase is so high this year.

I hope this information is of help.  Here is the 2019 TRIM supplement offered by the County. If you have questions please don’t hesitate to call me or your Anna Maria Island Sales professional.  We can help! 

Mandatory Electronic System Travel Authorization for foreign travelers

In 2008 Congress enacted legislation to expand the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The new law required that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) develop an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to gather biographic information from nationals of the soon-to-be 34 VWP countries traveling to the U.S. in advance of their visit.

ESTA is mandatory for all VWP travelers beginning January 12, 2009. Information required through ESTA mirrors the data travelers already submit through the I-94W paper form currently filled out upon arrival at a U.S. port of entry; however, it simplifies the process by allowing visitors to complete the form online prior to arrival.

Question and Answers about the program