South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Crestwood citizen says ‘well running dry,’ will vote ‘no’ on Prop C

To the editor:

Regarding Crestwood’s proposed 45-cent tax-rate increase, Proposition C in April, as a full-time working mother of two growing children, it has become increasingly difficult to manage our budget due to rising costs in everything from groceries, gasoline, health care, haircuts and clothing. These increases have bumped up against decades of real wage stagnation.

We live within our means every payday. How? We are debt free except for our mortgage. We budget every dollar into an envelope system. Every week my husband and I decide how we are going to stay in budget. We make each other accountable, and that’s a great thing.

We have meals at home, visit our local library, have one car — keep going, 2003 Toyota — bargain hunt for clothing and reduce spending on holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. My family lives simply and within our means. We’ve delayed a roof repair, but bit the bullet when we had to replace our 1993 air conditioner.

When such emergencies hit, we delay the monthly items such as the haircuts, eyeglasses and new shoes.

I believe our city officials in Crestwood decided that it was best for the taxpayers to “give” millions in tax-increment financing and tax abatements to a wealthy corporation and continue to spend as if the money “well” couldn’t run dry. Apparently it has.

But I can’t reward the fiscally irresponsible behavior that placed the city in this position. I can’t bail it out so that it and its employees continue to enjoy a standard of living that improves, while my family’s declines. Is that fair?

When money is tight, our spending shrinks until money isn’t tight. Many families in Crestwood rely on Social Security, are single-parent households that work more than one job and 28 percent of students at Crestwood Elementary School qualify for free or reduced lunches.

How will the 2017 reassessment of county home values affect us in one of the hottest ZIP codes in the United States? How do I afford the increase in escrow taxes, Ameren’s proposed rate hike, the county’s proposed half-cent sales tax and Amazon’s collection of state taxes? Taxes. Taxes. Taxes.

We were much better off when we started our family journey in 2009 moving to Crestwood, for: No. 1, its low taxes. No. 2, Lindbergh Schools. No. 3, its location. No. 4, its affordable housing. But the Great Recession and yearly increases of government taxes have eroded our financial security.

Our well is running dry. I ask that you vote “no” on Proposition C and help all families who live in the city of Crestwood.

Trisha Schelinski


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