Reader urges ‘yes’ vote on Proposition 1 to help stabilize Crestwood’s tax base

It’s late December. Celebrations among family and friends are winding down as the major retailers in Crestwood begin to tally up their seasonal sales revenues.

In planning for the major selling period of the year, did Macy’s, Sears or Best Buy have any certainty as to how successful the sales season would be? Did they know for sure where their customers would come from, what they would buy, what they would not return and in what quantities? In turn, did Crestwood’s Finance Department know in advance what their take would be from the gross sales? To both questions, the answer is a resounding “no,” and therein lies the problem; not just for Christmas 2008, but for 2009 and beyond.

While the bright promise of Crestwood’s future seems to be on the horizon, the unpredictability of sales tax as the predominant form of Crestwood’s revenues renders budget forecasting as more art than science. We rely on these totally unpredictable sales taxes for the majority of our city revenues, thus leaving our municipal services to chance.

Proposition 1 is designed to support a change in the city’s sources of revenues to help stabilize the tax base through a temporary tax-rate increase. A “yes” vote will provide a more predictable safety net under our city as we navigate across the thin tightrope from where we are today into Crestwood’s bright future.

Terry Freeman