Autobarn, Evanston’s only car dealership, is scheduled to receive approval from aldermen tonight for two sales tax sharing agreements to aid its expansion plans.

One deal would revive and revise a now-expired agreement covering the existing Mazda, Nissan and Volkswagen dealerships on Chicago Avenue. That would give the dealership a 50 percent rebate on sales taxes collected over the next four years. That aid is expected to total between $1.2 million and $1.3 million.

The aid is designed to help the company cover costs of building its planned service and vehicle storage facility at 222 Hartrey Ave.

The city has already approved a $2.5 million tax increment funding agreement for rehabilitation work at the Hartrey site as well as a resolution supporting a reduction by the county of the site’s property taxes.

The other deal would provide an 80 percent rebate over four years on sales at Autobarn’s planned new Fiat/Alfa Romeo dealership. That’s forecast to total over $520,000 toward a projected cost of just over $2 million to launch the new dealership at what has been a used car lot at 1034 Chicago Ave.

The proposed agreements contain various provisions designed to assure creation of new jobs in Evanston as part of the expansion and a provision barring the company’s employees, suppliers and customers from using residential streets east of the Hartrey site to gain access to the facility.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Make sure I understand

    So, I buy a new car from the Autobarn for $25,000.  The city charges a 1% (right?) sales tax, so $250.  Of that $250, $125 will go to the City and Autobarn keeps $125?

    So the cost to me the auto buyer is the same.  The cost to me the taxpayer is $125.  Which the Autobarn must (?) invest in a car facility on Hartrey.  The improvements to the property on Hartrey will someday be reflected in its assessed value and therefore real estate tax payment. 

    So the $125 that I , the taxpayer, rebate to the Autobarn now will eventually be returned to me.

    Is that how this works?


  2. Don’t give them any of your

    Don't give them any of your endless developer variances on Chicago Avenue.  They already park across the intersection at the south end of the development we're already paying for, thus making turns, visibility, and respect for the law not part of their activities.  Are the parking meter minders directed not to ticket them?

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