Evanston aldermen voted Monday to give Township Assessor Bonnie Wilson about three quarters of the extra money she asked for in this year’s budget.

Wilson had requested that her actual spending of $83,592 last year be authorized to increase to $168,054 this year. But on a motion of Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, the aldermen voted to trim $20,000 from the budget request.

Evanston aldermen voted Monday to give Township Assessor Bonnie Wilson about three quarters of the extra money she asked for in this year’s budget.

Wilson had requested that her actual spending of $83,592 last year be authorized to increase to $168,054 this year. But on a motion of Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, the aldermen voted to trim $20,000 from the budget request.

The increase was criticized by former township assessor Sharon Eckersall, who’s now running on the Republican ticket for county assessor.

Eckersall, who had her budget slashed by the aldermen, claimed the new assessor doesn’t need the extra money.

Wilson argued she should be able to hire a full-time permanent deputy to deal with the expected surge in requests from taxpayers for help filing appeals after new assessments for Evanston residents are sent out in a few days.

But Holmes and other aldermen said they believe the cyclical nature of the work makes adding a full-time employee unnecessary — that a new part-time worker would be sufficient.

The office currently has one full time assistant in addition to the elected assessor who receives only part-time pay for her position.

Most of the aldermen had supported Wilson in her campaign last year to replace Eckersall as assessor.

The aldermen also voted to approve the rest of the township budget for the fiscal year that began in April.

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Vote due on doubling township assessor’s budget

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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5 Comments

  1. township assessor

    Bonnie Wilson was right! In order to for her office to act professionally, a full time deputy should be hired. Continuity is necessary to ensure taxpayers who need help crafting their appeals to the County get the desired result. A knowledgable deputy is invaluable to township residents and officials. This resource of information could and should be utilized year round. Get it right for next year’s budget!

  2. Spend and tax Democrats – same as it ever was

    So the City Council who supported Bonnie Wilson’s campaign CUT Eckersall’s budget and now will ADD about $70,000 more to the budget of their chosen candidate during a fiscal crisis when the state is $8 billion dollars in the hole?

    When the Council cut the Township Assessor’s Budget under Eckersall, the financial problems in Evanston and the state were not nearly as pronounced as it is now. We are in a full-blown fiscal crisis and yet the City Council decides it’s necessary  to increase the budget of a city service that is duplicative in nature. You can go elsewhere to receive government services to appeal your tax bill other than the Township Assessor’s Office.

    It’s pretty clear to me that there is favoritism being played and it’s pure politics all played on the taxpayer’s dime. 

    I for one am convinced that the only way to change the tax and spend culture of our city government is to go smack up against the Democrat party that controls everything, including obvious favortism to the government unions who are bankrupting this state and city with their unsustainable pension benefits.

    The city manager has had a major battle on his hands and has taken personal attacks simply because he wants to lay off three rookie firemen due to severe budget constraints. Last I heard,  the layoffs haven’t happened. We have a budget crisis and the city manager can’t layoff three firemen? Someone inform the Evanston Fire Union that the state has an 11.2 unemployment rate!

    The sensible thing would have been to discuss the elimination of  the Township Assessor’s Office not add to it. You can not tax and spend your way back to prosperity.

    I’m just curious as to how many more years of this irresponsible governing Evanstonians are going to put up with. Maybe the reassement tax bills coming in the mail might turn the tide. 

    I can’t imagine property owners opening up their tax bill and remarking, "yeah, my taxes went up again. Let’s donate to the Democratic party."

    But then again…

  3. Assessor’s Budget

    It is indeed a shame that people like NBPIII comment on something they know nothing about. The Assessor should be able to answer all questions that come into the office.  It was indeed not shocking to me to hear that she needs help answering "technical" questions but thinks a Deputy Assessor would be able to answer them.  Why is she the Assesssor if she cannot answer questions coming into the office?  That is not  the Deputy’s job. 

    The workload is down substantially since real estate sales have dropped in the last several years.  Hence, there is not the input of transfer declarations that I had during my terms.  Also, the complaint about inputting permits.  Well, permits have been down since people do not have the money for various home improvements.  There is alot of down time in that office and plenty of time to make it run smoothly.

    From what I have heard, she is in the office only 1-2 hours if that per day.  For the $2,000 increase that went with this position, that is not adequate time spent.

  4. assessor budget

    I’m sure that that the prior township assessor knew everything there was to know about the assessment process, property tax exemptions and how the County determines value when she was first made assessor and didn’t need to learn it along the way.   Perhaps she doesn’t like the idea of a full time deputy because her deputy couldn’t answer the questions taxpayers needed answers to. Who is she to determine what the job of the current assessor’s deputy should be?  At eight thousand dollars per year, I wouldn’t expect the Assessor to work 8 hours days.  The former township assessor should spend more time trying to win her upcoming election, than denigrating her sucessor.  Sounds like sour grapes to me.  NBP III

  5. Township Assessor—Any Authority ?

    Can the Township Assessor actually change the assessment ?

    Or is it purely advisory ? Carry any weight with the County Assessor ?

    If not why have a Township Assessor  ?  Just more ‘make job’ for the political and waste taxpayer money ? If you go through the Township Assessor and get no answer or no help, you could miss the filing deadlines.

    I’ve written twice [once days after the new assessment] to the Township Assessor and heard nothing. 

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