MANATEE — Manatee County’s two biggest property taxpayers maintained their No. 1 and 2 spots in 2009, according to the annual Top 10 taxpayers list released Tuesday.
Florida Power & Light Co. remained the county’s largest taxpayer with a $11.8 million tax bill, which increased slightly from its $11.6 million bill in 2008.
Tropicana is the second highest taxpayer with a $5.8 million tax bill, up from $5.4 million last year. The Bradenton juice plant has been ranked either No. 1 or 2 since 2002 when it opened a new $30 million headquarters. The headquarters was moved in 2004 to Chicago.
One of the changes among the taxpayers on the 2009 list was Gulfstream Natural Gas System LLC, which moved from fourth to third on the list.
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As a result of the jump, Gulfstream’s tax bill increased to $2.6 million from $1.8 million in 2008. Its taxable value in 2008 was $124 million. It increased by about $47 million to $171 million in 2009.
Verizon, which was No. 3 last year, moved to fourth.
In September 2007, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved Gulfstream to construct a $117 million natural gas pipeline expansion project. The pipeline is to run from the Bartow Power Plant and connect at a north Manatee compression station.
Another significant change for the taxpayers’ list included Prime Outlets-Ellenton jumping to No. 5 from No. 7 in 2008. The outlet mall has a taxable value of $105 million this year, up from $95 million in 2008. Its 2009 tax bill is $1.6 million.
The remainder of the Top 10 includes Wal-Mart, which ranked sixth with a $1.6 million tax bill; Manatee Memorial, which ranked seventh at $1.6 million; Bright House Networks, which ranked eighth at $1.3 million; Benderson, which ranked ninth at $1.2 million; and HCA Health Services of Florida, which ranked 10th at $1.1 million.