CRESTWOOD, Mo. (KMOX) – Crestwood is proposing a property tax increase to maintain city services.

Residents gathered at Whitecliff Park Community Center last night to cast a non-binding vote on whether they wanted their taxes increased and by how much. City officials wanted the public’s opinion on what options looked most appealing to them.

Property tax options included an increase of 25 cents, 50 cents or 75 cents. Each amount determines whether more cuts are on the horizon or if the city can maintain its current services.

City Administrator Kris Simpson says an increase is needed, although there is some flexibility in the terms of dollar amount.

“We first started by looking at what it would take to make us fiscally neutral over a five-year period. That’s where we got the 75 cent number. That’s the first one that keeps us above our fund balance policy,” Simpson says.

City officials are hoping residents will support a property tax increase. Thanks to the demolition of the Crestwood Mall, the city is in a fiscal crisis. The city has seen a drop in revenue by 21 percent since 2006 and staff has decreased by 27 percent since 2003.

Simpson says increasing property taxes would help to maintain services through the year 2021.

City officials live streamed last night’s meeting.

Word on how residents voted at last night’s town hall meeting is expected by later this week.

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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