Cost Of Living In Sarasota, FL (Taxes, Housing & More)
Sarasota is a city at the southern edge of the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg metro area along Florida’s Gulf coast. Home to just over 50,000 residents, Sarasota is a city known for its arts, culture, beautiful sandy beaches and historic architecture. It is a beautiful city with a lot to offer.
The city’s tree-lined main street has a small-town feel with boutique shops, local restaurants, craft breweries and pedestrian avenues. There are dozens of parks, golf courses and outdoor entertainment venues to capitalize on the gorgeous weather. Sarasota also has all the trappings of a resort town, with lovely resorts, ice cream stands, arcades and souvenir stores.
Sarasota thrives because it caters to both its full-time residents and tourists alike. Whether you are making Sarasota your permanent home or just stopping by for a week to enjoy the beach, you’ll feel welcomed and at home. That’s the beauty of a beach town in Florida. With everything that Sarasota has to offer, you might expect it to be one of the most expensive cities in the country, but it’s not!
The median home cost in Sarasota for a three bedroom, two bath is over $264,500. Sarasota has a cost-of-living index of 102.7, meaning it is approximately 3% more expensive to live in Sarasota than the rest of the country. It’s hard to beat that affordable cost of living that close to the beach – and Sarasota is one of the most bustling beach communities in Florida, with lots of arts and culture.
The minimum wage in Florida is $8.56 an hour, which is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. The state’s minimum wage will increase to $10 per hour by the end of 2021. Minimum wage in Florida will then increase by $1 per year until it reaches $15 per hour in 2026.
Compared to Naples, the cost of living in Sarasota is higher than the national average by only three percent, making it one of the few affordable oceanfront cities in the entire USA. The affordability index for housing in Sarasota is 114, but many other important categories that play into the overall cost of living like utilities, transportation, groceries and healthcare are below the national average.
Homeownership Costs in Sarasota, Florida
Sarasota, FL, is a seller’s market. There are more people wanting to buy a home than there are houses available for sale. Not all homes cost the same. Prices range from 26 percent lower to 58 percent higher than the national average.
The median price of a home in Sarasota is $335,000, which is close to the national average of $330,000. Compared to a lot of other cities, Sarasota has a lot to offer in terms of affordable prices. By comparison, houses in Tampa average $225,976 and in Miami, the average home price is $454,502. Homes for sale are spacious, popular, and modern. They appreciate 7.6 percent faster than the national average.
Median Home Prices in Sarasota, Florida Compared
|Location||Median Home Price||Homeownership Rate|
Rental Costs in Sarasota, Florida
The mean rent of a one-bedroom apartment in Sarasota is $1297. That is a 16 percent increase over the last year. With 44 percent of the population renting compared to the 56 percent who own homes, rental property is available.
|Style Of Home||Price Per Month|
With a statewide average of $1,175 per month, Florida has the eleventh most expensive rent in the U.S. Reports suggest that rental prices are going to continue to rise throughout the state, with South Florida having the third fastest-growing rental market in the nation. The average monthly rent for an apartment in Sarasota, though, is $1,816.
To put things in perspective, the following table outlines how the average monthly rent in Sarasota compares to other neighboring cities in the state of Florida:
Despite an increase in homeownership’s overall costs over the last three years, a conventional mortgage is 55 percent cheaper than renting in Sarasota. Ownership costs include closing costs, mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, and maintenance. Renting costs include the security deposit, monthly payments, and renter’s insurance.
Utility Costs in Sarasota, Florida
Energy rates in Florida are on the high side. The average monthly electric bill is $126.44. That figure is 13 percent higher than the national average. The Energy Information Administration shows that Florida consumes the sixth most kWh usage each month in the US. A hot and humid climate that causes residents to run the air conditioning for most of the year is the likely explanation.
Those supplied with city water and sewage maintenance pay approximately $100 per month. People using well water have no water bill but must add salt to the water monthly. A bundle of cable, internet, and phone for new customers is about $99 per month.
Taxes in Sarasota Florida
Taxpayers in Sarasota enjoy a very tax-friendly situation, as the entire state of Florida is known for having low taxes. Plus, there is no state income tax!
Sales Taxes in Sarasota, Florida
Florida’s statewide base sales tax rate is 6%. Some Florida counties also collect their own sales taxes, ranging from as low as 0.5% to a high as 2.5%. Although there are no sales taxes charged at the city level, the total sales tax rate you could end up paying in Florida is as much as 8.5% – depending on the county you’re in.
Sarasota County levies an additional 1.0% county sales tax rate on top of the base sales tax, bringing the total sales tax in Sarasota to 7.0%.
Property Taxes in Sarasota, Florida
A home with a value of $235,000 is assessed $2,095 per year for property taxes in Sarasota. On average, the tax is 0.89 percent of the assessed fair market value to the property. Sarasota County has some the highest property taxes in the United States.
The county is ranked 404 out of 3143 total counties. The property tax in Sarasota County is approximately 3.77 percent of the median yearly income. Sarasota County’s formula for determining tax owed is complicated. It cannot be expressed as a simple tax rate.
Income Taxes in Sarasota, Florida
One of the main advantages to living in Sarasota, or anywhere in Florida for that matter, is the fact that there is no state income tax. The state is among a select few that do not levy any sort of personal income tax at the state level. This means that regardless of your income level, you do not have to file a state income tax return or pay any taxes on your income. You do, however, still have to file a federal income tax return and pay your federal income taxes.
Child Care Costs in Sarasota, Florida
Sarasota County child care centers come in programs, costs, and sizes to fit all preferences and budgets. There are 128 child care centers. Average child care in the US ranges from $9100 to $9600 per year across all age categories and states. Sarasota child care falls below the national average.
In Sarasota, the average weekly cost for full-time daycare is.
|Age||Cost Per Week|
Monthly daycare costs in Sarasota average $770 for infants and $607 for a four-year-old. The median wage is $57,324. Child care is about 14.4 percent of a family’s income. Child care that is no more than ten percent of a family’s gross income is deemed affordable by The Department of Health and Human Services.
Food & Grocery Costs in Sarasota, Florida
Sarasota scores one out of ten as a cost of food score. One being the most expensive and ten the cheapest. Meal prices in Sarasota vary. The average cost is $110 per day. Dining out costs about $44 per person.
This list gives you an idea of the prices for some grocery items.
|1 Pound Bananas||$0.95|
|1 Pound Chicken Fillets||$6.58|
|1 Loaf of White Bread||$2.52|
|1 Pound Local Cheese||$5.60|
|1 Gallon Milk||$3.62|
|1 Dozen Eggs||$3.07|
|1 Pound White Rice||$2.52|
Entertainment Costs in Sarasota, Florida?
Activities and entertainment in Sarasota have an average cost of $9.08 per person. It includes day tours, tickets to attractions and museums, and other sightseeing expenses. There are artistic performances, live comedy shows, breathtaking sunsets and drinks at a tiki bar, film festivals, and live music.
Sarasota nightlife may not be like South Beach, but people can find plenty of things to do. They include date-night dinners and swanky drinks to a bar-hopping extravaganza. Sip cocktails in flavors never before tasted or head to a craft beer bar that boasts dozens of beers on tap.
Some of the best entertainment is free. With a little planning, you can spend the day enjoying Sarasota without breaking the bank. On Mondays, The Ringley Museum of Art opens to the public for free.
Take a stroll through Towles Court Artist Colony located in downtown Sarasota. On the third Friday of each month, there is no admission. It features refreshments and live music, and a chance to see Sarasota’s resident working artists’ newest works. Other activities include:
|Marietta’s Museum of Whimsy||Free admission ($5 suggested donation)|
|Children’s Garden||Ages 0-2 Free, 3-12 $5|
|Bookstore 1 Sarasota author discussion||Low cost or free admission|
|Myakka River State Park||Free|
|Dakin Dairy Farms||Free admission, $10 old-fashioned picnic|
|Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf||$13 for 18 holes, second-round $1.99|
|Sarasota Lanes||$2 Tuesdays ($2 for a bowling game, $2 for beer from 9 PM to Midnight|
|Ed Smith Stadium||$8 standing room, $30 box seat|
|Fitness Club Membership||$49.99 per month|
Education Costs in Sarasota, Florida
Sarasota schools spend $12,743 for each student, which is slightly above the national average. The student: teacher ratio is 14:1. The types of schools in Sarasota are
|Type of School||Number in Sarasota|
|Public Elementary Schools||23|
|Public Middle Schools||7|
|Public High Schools||5|
Private schools in Sarasota provide all or some K through 12 education. The 34 schools do not operate under the district’s public schools. They are mainly funded through student fees and tuition. The average tuition for private schools is $9036 at the elementary level and $9867 for high schools.
There are two colleges in Sarasota. They are Ringling College of Arts and Design which costs $52,384, and New College of Florida, where the average tuition is $3896 in-state and $15,491 out-of-state. There are also 32 colleges within 100 miles of Sarasota.
Tuition for technical colleges is much cheaper. Full-time technical programs cost between $3000 and $6287.
How much do you need to live comfortably in Sarasota?
One adult with no children needs $29,579 per year. Two adults working with two children need $106,501 per year.
Is Sarasota a good place to live?
Although it is a small city, Sarasota is an artistic city. It has an opera house, a ballet, and quality theaters. Those interested in nightlife may enjoy a city with a younger population. Sarasota is an excellent city for retirees. It is ranked number 16 in the best places to live by U.S. News.
What is the weather like in Sarasota, Florida?
Sarasota weather is ideal. It is considered to be among the most favorable climates in the US, based on the number of clear sky days and comfort.
Is Sarasota, Florida safe?
Sarasota is relatively safe to raise a family. The crime rate is low due to the transitory population that moves away in the summer and the small-town feel. Violent crime is much lower than the US average. Property crime is about the same as the national average.
Is Sarasota, Florida Right For You?
In Sarasota, you can soak up the sun along the white-sand beaches. There are shopping districts, enriching culture and arts, and diverse dining. Sarasota has some of the newest and oldest homes in the area.
There are a large number of educational opportunities. A saying that describes Sarasota is, ‘You cannot be bored in Sarasota unless you choose to be.’ People living in Sarasota have a median age of 41. Per capita income is $24,416. The median household income is $47,864. Tourism significantly contributes to the economy.
If you’re not completely sold on Sarasota but are still considering relocating to the Sunshine State, check out What Are The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In Florida?
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