Since the government does not ask for donations but rather takes our money in the form of taxation for necessary services, we the people should hold our elected representatives, as well as hired and appointed staff, to a higher standard of transparency in explaining why we need such-'n'-such a service, how having that service benefits us, along with the most cost effective way to provide this service.

The following chart shows how our city tax assessment totals have increased over the past few years. Note how there have been no "City Tax Credits" starting in 2012.

Tax Chart 

For those who want to dive into some comparative figures here is a chart of property tax rates over the past decade.  As you can see for 10 years like-minded council members and I were able hold reduce tax rates steady. 

 

The following are approved or likely additional taxes for 2016 based on a $200,000 home. (figures are rounded and based on basic assumptions)

Voter approved School referendums $300
County 1/2 percent Sales tax $10,000 purchase year $50
School, County, and City general levy increases $100
Shakopee Community Center including operations    $100
other taxing jurisdictions  $50
property value increase                                                  $200 (depends on the actual increase in value)
Total: $800 increase for 2016

I am concerned this size of the additional taxes proposed for 2016 will harm fixed income households, new families just starting out, and will ultimately be passed on to renters.  Quality of life is important, I believe letting you keep more of the money you earn, deciding yourself what you need, enhances your quality of life.  A reduction of disposable income lost to increased taxation most likely will not be spent in our local economy/businesses.

This site prepared and paid for by Matt Lehman, 815 8th Ave. East, Shakopee, MN  55379