Crete is a First-Class city with a mayor-council form of government with the mayor and six council members (three wards each represented by two members) elected to four-year terms. The 2015-2016 actual expenditures were $18,804,144 and the municipal levy is 0.525003. The actual valuation of the City of Crete is $248,569,908. In addition to the 5.5% Nebraska sales tax, a 2% city sales tax is imposed in Crete. The revenue generated by 1% of the city sales tax is used entirely for property tax relief; 0.5% is dedicated to economic development; the final 0.5% is dedicated to capital construction and public safety.
Regular city council meetings are held the first and third Tuesdays of each month at City Hall; council members sit on six standing committees. There are 11 citizen boards appointed by the mayor and approved by the council.