Elect Matt Lehman Mayor

I would like to extend my thanks to ALL Shakopee voters for your participation in the electoral process. Your trust and confidence are humbling and itís an honor to serve. I love Shakopee, itís a very special place. We have many great accomplishments to be proud of.

While the City Council and staff maybe the face of Shakopee at times, I honestly believe YOU the people and businesses are the heart and soul of our community. I hold no animosities and I will strive to serve All of Shakopee.

~ Matt Lehman

 

Experienced

 

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Principled

Common Sense


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Issues Matter

City Services: The core city services are police/fire, roads, sewers, storm-water runoff, water/electric, and the general administration that goes along with it. Planning both short and long term is also important to prevent tax-rate spikes. Many other services exist that enhance the community from parks and recreation trail systems to the many natural resources available. To manage these services, it is extremely important that we prioritize them and have an accurate gauge of the taxpayersí willingness to fund these services and at what levels. I prefer taxpayer participation and approval via referendum for large none-core service expansions. I also support creative public/private funding partnerships and collaborations between governmental agencies to minimize duplication and reduce costs.

Transportation: Transportation is an important aspect to many facets of a community. Completed items in recent years have included 17th Ave E. re-aligned to County 16, downtown Hwy 101 reconstruction, Hwy 21 from Southbridge to Hwy 42, I-169/69 interchange, completion of Hwy 101 across river above flood plain,  Vierling and Marshall Rd. intersection safety improvements. Marshall Rd. 4 lanes from 17th Ave to Hwy 42,  Valley View Rd extension from Sarazin Street to west of Marshall Rd. connecting to 17th Ave, and County Road 16, 4 lanes from Hwy 83 to Hwy 18. These are just a few of the past projects I've been involved with, and I'll be involed with many more projects to come.

It's obvious that past and present councils, along with Scott County and the state, have been proactive in transportation improvements in Shakopee over the last several years. While highway construction causes inconveniences, we try to minimize the impacts recognizing the end results will be major improvements to you, as taxpayers, and the community's overall health and functionality at large.  I am committed to continue seeking the other jurisdictional funds needed along with the planning processes required to continue getting our fair share of investment dollars our taxpayers paid back into our communityís systems.

Economic Development: Typically, new growth pays for itself. Today, this is not the case. Taxpayer financing (TIF) is being used for gated luxury communities, market rate apartments, and select businesses. Taxpayer fianancing (TIF) returns nearly all the property taxes generated back to the projects for continued growth  and NOTHING goes back to the general fund to provide city services for that growth. This simply means current taxpayers are funding their own city services plus services to these new TIF projects for up to 15 years.  But it gets worse. The city levies an economic tax on existing taxpayers to the tune of $500,000 a year to create additional TIF projects with additional city sevice costs to the original taxpayer base. Lest I forget we also pay 1/2% of total water sales and 1/2% of total electricity sales to this city economic fund. That's another $300,000 (give or take) out of rate-payers' pockets. The 2023 budget proposal seeks $1.6-million in additional employee service costs. The city is also annexing 250 acres of property per year from Jackson Township extending services and paying the township 7 years of lost taxation on this land regardess of whether it developes or not.

Let me say I'm totally in favor of tax incentives for jobs that pay a wage that is too high for employees to be eligible for other taxpayer subidized services. The goal should be to boost people up the economic ladder for their personal improvemant and create opportunity for themselves and the community.  City policies should benefit current taxpayers as well as future taxpayers.

Taxes: The absolute necessary evil.  I was taught in school that anything over 33% taxation was communism. Today, we can't argue that because the tax bill is split between so many different governmental agencies that none of them takes over 33% but when added all together, its painfully well above 33%.  My goal and commitment to you is to make sure the city portion of your tax bill is stable, reasonable, and justified.  That we, as a city, do our very best to make sure a portion of your tax dollars that go to the state, county, and feds, comeback to our community in the form of cost sharing on projects, grants, and jurisdictional collaborations that reduce your taxes with the savings.  A low stable tax rate helps families stay in their homes, gives them spending money to put back into the local economy, and helps homes for sale become sold. This should also apply to businesses. A low and stable tax rate should attract businesses without offering them no taxes for years.  I am not anti-tax, I am opposed to wasting taxpayer money.

I would like to try a different approach, a calm, collected, experienced, common sense approach to placing the people we serve first in all decisions.  Please vote Lehman for Mayor!

Thank you,


 

MattLehmanSr@comcast.net

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