The mayor’s budget task force this evening adopted its final report with several long-range recommendations for dealing with Evanston’s financial issues.
The group will report to the City Council Monday that, among other things, officials should:
- Explore eliminating township government and the separate park districts in the city as a way to increase efficiency and achieve tax savings.
- Bring city employee benefits more in line with those in the private sector.
- Make strategic use of tax incentives to encourage economic development that will create more jobs, increase the tax base and improve the livability of the city without disadvantaging existing businesses.
- Prioritize and re-evaluate city services and determine where it may be appropriate to outsource work or generate more revenue for the city by "insourcing" — providing services to nearby communities.
- Examine tax exempt properties to determine whether any are improperly classified as tax exempt or are being leased to non-exempt entities that should be paying leasehold taxes.
The committee members were divided on whether the city’s economic development strategy should include further development along the lakefront.
The nine-member task force was appointed by Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl 11 months ago..