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Chicago wields sharper budget ax than Evanston

With Chicago and Evanston aldermen both agreeing on new budgets this week — here's a quick comparison of how the two governing bodies performed.

Chicago aldermen reduced the city's total spending from the prior year by 0.9 percent. Evanston aldermen increased the city's total spending by 0.3 percent.

(For Evanston that calculation takes spending for the transitional 10-month 2011 fiscal year and adjusts it to cover a 12 month period.)

Chicago aldermen adopted a budget with no property tax increase. Evanston aldermen adopted a budget with a 4.91 percent property tax increase.

Chicago aldermen laid off 517 city workers. Evanston aldermen laid off a net total of 4 city workers, after subtracting new hires authorized .

Adjusting for the disparate size of the communities, that works out to 0.19 fewer city workers per 1,000 city residents in Chicago, and 0.05 fewer in Evanston.

Chicago aldermen eliminated 2,100 vacant city positions. Evanston aldermen eliminated 3. That works out to 0.78 fewer vacant city positions per 1,000 residents in Chicago, 0.04 fewer in Evanston.

Chicago aldermen closed a $635 million funding gap — one that amounted to $236 dollars for every resident — largely with layoffs but also by raising a variety of city fees.

Evanston aldermen closed a $2.4 million funding gap — one that amounted to $33 per resident — the vast majority of it by raising taxes and fees.

With adoption of both budgets, Chicago will spend $3,044 per capita on city services, while Evanston spends $2,932.

Related documents

Chicago city budget overview

Evanston city budget website

Related story

City Council unanimously approves Emanuel budget (Chicago News Cooperative)

'New day' at City Hall as the mayor's budget passes — unanimously (Chicago Business)

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