Port Manatee is a dependent special district created by the Florida Legislature in 1967. The port’s governing body is the seven-member Manatee County Port. Members serve four-year staggered terms with annual elections of officers. The authority sets policy and oversees major expenditures for the port. Manatee County

While the Manatee County Port Authority is comprised of the same seven members as the elected Manatee County Commission – each governing body has a separate set of officers and financial accountability. 

Port Manatee is not considered a unit of Manatee County Government and does not receive ad-valorem tax support from the citizens of Manatee County.