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Crestwood Voters Pass Major Property Tax Hike

45-cent increase expected to reduce city's large deficit

Crestwood voters on April 4 passed Prop C, a property tax increase, by more than 56 percent of the vote. The new rate will appear on December 2017 property tax bills. photo by Ursula Ruhl.

April 07, 2017
On April 4, Crestwood voters approved an across-the-board 45-cent property tax increase to help fund basic city services and eliminate deficit spending.

Proposition C passed with 56.6 percent of the vote with a tally of 2,097 to 1,607. Voter turnout was roughly 35 percent.

"We're very, very grateful, and we're indebted to the residents," said Mayor Gregg Roby. "And the board is not taking it lightly. It's a gift from the residents, and we will treat it properly."

Roby credits City Administrator Kris Simpson for the win, for developing and delivering a detailed presentation on the need and uses for increased revenue. Simpson gave four public presentations on the measure.

The revenue is to be used to:

Washington University
 Retain the current number of police officers, firefighters and other city staff;

 Maintain current emergency and snow removal response times;

 Do some deferred maintenance of city facilities, and;

 Eliminate deficit spending.

The increase is expected to reduce a large deficit, projected at $5.205 million by 2021. Even with the tax increase, the 2021 deficit is projected at $672,700. The residential tax rate ceiling will increase to 69.8 cents. If the city's sales tax revenue improves with the planned redevelopment of the Crestwood Mall site, the board of aldermen could adjust the rate in future years.

Crestwood stands to gain some additional revenue for public safety from the St. Louis County Proposition P one-half percent sales tax increase, which also passed.

The new rate will appear on the 2017 residential, commercial and personal property tax bills in December. The Crestwood Board of Aldermen is likely to consider revenue from the County Prop P when it sets the tax rate for 2018, Roby said.

The Affton Fire Protection District's Prop A also passed, raising that tax by 25 cents in an annexed part of Crestwood. The city of Crestwood must pay Affton Fire Protection the difference between the Crestwood rate and Affton's rate. That added up to about $456,000 in 2016, Roby said. This year it is expected to be almost $580,000.

"That's a big chunk of money when you're struggling to pay bills," he said. "I'm thrilled that we didn't end up with a failure of Prop C and approval of Affton Fire."

Voters also returned Mayor Gregg Roby for a second term. He was unopposed. Roby got 2,904 votes; 198 write-in votes were cast. No aldermanic seats were on the ballot.

Tags: Election Results 2017

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