Chanhassen City Hall

File photo by Mark W. Olson

The city of Chanhassen has seen an influx of new faces throughout 2020, with more to come in 2021.

File photo by Audrey Kennedy

(Bottom left photo) Chanhassen City Manager Laurie Hokkanen began her job in early 2021.

The Chanhassen City Council held its Truth in Taxation hearing on Monday for residents to weigh in on a potential tax levy increase of 2.77% for 2021.

In late September, the council unanimously approved a preliminary tax levy of $12,066,700, a $325,332 increase from last year. The preliminary levy is the maximum amount they can set, and could be lower than 2.77%. The final decision will be made at the Dec. 14 council meeting.

The council had previously been wary of the increase, with several councilors only approving the preliminary levy with the caveat that city staff look for even more reductions to lower the levy to 2.5%. A 2.5% levy would reduce the amount of money in the general fund, but leave capital and debt levies untouched.

All councilors attended the Truth in Taxation meeting by Zoom. During the hearing, the city received one opposing email and two visitors who requested more information on how the city spent its CARES funding and suggesting adding an IT position.

Based on a Chanhassen average home value of $443,000 — a .63% increase from last year, according to former Finance Director Greg Sticha — a homeowner will pay approximately $12 to $13 more if the final levy is set at 2.77%.

The city budget has planned no increase in healthcare costs, a 2% increase for cost of living and merit pay for city staff and a 3.5% increase in police services. Chanhassen’s 4.4% levy increase last year was also lower than the majority of surrounding towns like Chaska, Shakopee and Prior Lake, according to a city staff report.

45% of the property tax distribution would go to School District 112; 31% to the county; 19% to the city; and 5% to other agencies like the Metro Council, the report said.

The city will continue to take public comments to be reviewed at next week’s meeting, Mayor Elise Ryan said. The levy will be finalized on Dec. 14.

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