Labor Day Weekend on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Summer time is dolphin time on Sanibel Island, JMA Photography photo

Summer time is dolphin time on Sanibel Island, JMA Photography photo

It’s another Friday on Sanibel Island and though not many vacationers were expected to be in town this week, SanibelSusan Realty had a spurt of real estate activity. Today, we are gearing up for what we hope will be more activity over Labor Day. The rest of the team gets a Monday holiday, but SanibelSusan will be in the office, looking for showing requests – and offers!

Here are a couple of news items, followed by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service activity this week. We did not have a Realtor® caravan meeting yesterday, but many Realtors® have been involved in the various water quality meetings over the last few days. There is some positive news on that subject below.

Sanibel Mayor & City Council Meet the Governor in Fort Myers

City photo, Sanibel Mayor Ruane (back to) talking to Governor Scott & Senator Benacquisto

City photo, Sanibel Mayor Ruane (back to) talking to Governor Scott & Senator Benacquisto

From the City’s web site: “Wednesday, Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane and members of the Sanibel City Council met with Florida Governor Rick Scott in Fort Myers. The purpose of the Governor’s visit was to announce $90 million in funding towards a project to improve water flows south from Lake Okeechobee and reduce flows into our estuary and the Caloosahatchee River. The project, a 2.5 mile bridge on Tamiami Trail, will replace the existing roadway which has blocked flow to the south since constructed in 1928. For years this project has been planned but never funded or implemented. Additionally the Governor spent time hearing from our local officials on the need to continue restoring the historic flow to the south and observing our current water conditions firsthand.

“”Governor Scott’s response to this economic and environmental crisis has been swift. We should not squander this opportunity to all work together: east coast and west coast; inland agricultural interests and beaches communities, Federal, State and local officials, environmentalist & business owners, to move plans long on the drawing boards into reality” Ruane stated following the Governor’s visit to our area.

In addition to the Governor’s announcement, State Senator Negron has announced four action items in follow-up to the Senate Select Committee public hearing. To read a copy of the Action Plans, all consistent with the City of Sanibel’s priorities, click here (pdf 165.64 kB) . For a copy of the City of Sanibel’s short and long-term priorities for addressing the economic and environmental crisis resulting from the Lake Okeechobee releases click here (pdf 135.44 kB).”

Sanibel’s Annual Bike Path Project

bike pathThe City’s annual repairs to the Shared Use Paths (aka bike paths) began this week. Each year Sanibel inspects all 25-some miles of paths and prioritizes their need for repairs. This year, repairs total over $128K and are expected to be completed within 30 days. The areas under repair will be barricaded off for user safety.

Inaugural Sanibel FunFest – January 24 to 26

Whitney wolaninTo kick off the first Sanibel FunFest scheduled for the weekend of January 24-26, singer/songwriter Whitney Wolanin who grew up on the island will perform with her 6-piece band on Friday, January 24, at The (Sanibel) Community House. On Saturday, the FunFest continues with more music by a Jimmy Buffet tribute band, a performance by The Sanibel School’s Steel Drum Band. The day also will include hula dance, mermaid and pirate competitions, sand sculpture displays, local arts and crafts, children’s games, and food and beverage concessions.

Sanibel Community HouseSaturday night there will be a Polynesian Luau for the entire family with music from the South Pacific. There will be hula, knife and torch dances, plus a pig roast feast. The event ends on Sunday with an automobile and motorcycle show on The Community House grounds. The Cool Cars of Sanibel will be on display, plus Harley-Davidson bikes. There will be a body paint contest, sand sculpture judging and awards presentations will be held, plus more local arts and crafts.

The Worst Tax Friendly States for Retirees

This week, I saw an online article with the above heading. Knowing that Florida has tax advantages for retirees, I wondered what states are considered the worst. The article says:

“Due to state tax law differences, you’ll learn that where you live during retirement dictates what you spend. Due to their combination on taxes on ordinary income, pensions, real estate, inherited property and estates, the following 10 states can be best described as hostile territory for retirees. CNBC culled data from CCH, the Tax Foundation, state revenue departments, and the Federation of Tax Administrators. (Property tax rates, compiled by the Tax Foundation using Census Bureau data, are through calendar year 2011 and reflect the mean property tax as a percentage of mean home value.)

“These are the worst 10 states to retire in (list in alphabetical order): California, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and Vermont”.

The article also contains the tax rates for each state showing how they made the “worst” list.

Reading that it made me wonder if Florida made the “best” 10 states list so with a little Googling, I found a similar online article also posted this week by “TodayMoney” and also sourcing the same CNBC article. It includes what it calls the “most (tax) friendly states” and says they are: “Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Nevada, South Carolina, and Wyoming.”

So, Florida didn’t make their best list either. Now I needed to find out why not and where it did fall. With more Googling, I found an MSNMonday article online. It quotes an article also this week from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine. That article has a map of the U.S. so the reader can click on a state to find the details.

Interestingly, the Kiplinger article has some variation in their list of states considered to be “least tax friendly” and “most tax friendly”. Florida is on their best list which shows (states again in alphabetical order):

Least tax friendly: California, Connecticut, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. (Here Iowa and Maine were off the list, but Minnesota and Oregon were added.)

Florida the sunshine stateMost tax friendly: Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Nevada, and Wyoming. So Kiplinger takes Alabama and Tennessee off their list, and adds Arizona and Florida.

Florida actually ranked #10 on their most tax-friendly list with the following info also posted:

State Income Tax: None
State Sales Tax: 6%
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/No

“It’s not just the fishing that attracts retirees to the Sunshine State. Florida has no state income tax. Sales taxes, though, can go as high as 7.5%. All property is taxable at 100% of its market value. Residents are eligible for a homestead exemption of up to $50,000. Some city and county governments give residents ages 65 and older who meet certain income limits an additional homestead exemption of up to $50,000. Median tax on a $182,400 median-valued home is $1,773, according to the Tax Foundation. Read more at

Labor Day Weekend Fun

sundial-logoFor those here this weekend, Sundial Beach Resort and Spa is hosting a special Labor Day party with an island-style buffet, live entertainment, and prizes. An all-you-can-eat BBQ will be available poolside at Turtles Beach & Pool Bar on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (noon to 4 p.m.). Danny Morgan’s Apple Butter Band will provide country and western music Monday 1 to 4 p.m. at the pool bar.

Sundial poolThey also will be playing island-style music at the Sea Breeze Cafe both today and tomorrow from 7 to 10 p.m. Sundial’s Sanibel Summerfest promotion drawings will be done at 1 p.m. on Labor Day with prizes including a complimentary weekend.

There also is a huge Labor Day Weekend Sidewalk Sale at Periwinkle Place shops today through Monday. Guess it must be time to get ready for the winter inventory items – which are sometimes much like the summer ones on a tropical island!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity from August 23 to 30 

Kitchen at our new listing at Island Beach Club #310C

Kitchen at our new listing at Island Beach Club #310C

2 new listings: Sundial #H407 1/1 $425K, Island Beach Club #310C 2/2 $549K (our listing).
1 price change: Sundial #H102 2/2 now $440K.
1 new sale: Sanibel Siesta #210 2/2 listed for $439K.
3 closed sales: Spanish Cay #D4 2/2 $305K, Loggerhead Cay #211 2/2 $475K, Kings Crown #111 3/2 $625K.
1 new listing: 1419 Albatross Rd 3/3 $749K.
3 price changes: 1748 Jewel Bx Dr 4/4 now $1.399M, 428 Bella Vista Way E 4/4 half-duplex now $1.986M, 2964 Wulfert Rd 5/5.5 now $2.183.5M.
3 new sales: 984 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex listed for $379K, 1073 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $569K, 2498 Harbour Ln 4/3 listed for $888.5K.
3 closed sales: 1610 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $445K, 5297 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/3 $520K, 1241 Junonia St 3/3 $675K.
2 new listings: Lots 3,4 Dinkins Lake Rd $299K, 659 Anchor Dr $549K.
2 price changes: Lots 30,31 Dimmick Dr now $185K (our listing), 4318 West Gulf Dr now $799K.
3 new sales: 2323 Starfish Ln listed for $349K, 1837 Buckthorn Ln listed for $379K, 1503 San Carlos Bay Dr listed for $1.195M.
No closed sales.
No new listings, price changes, or new sales.
2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5208 1/2 $227K, Lands End Village #1625 2/2 $985K.
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 15160 Captiva Dr 6/6.5 listed for $1.899M.
No closed sales.
Nothing to report.

This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors or its Multiple Listing Service.  Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.  If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.

Best wishes to all for a fun 3-day weekend!

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