Aldermen tonight discuss a proposed city budget that, if adopted, will mark a dramatic increase in the city’s share of the total property tax burden on Evanston residents.

A budget memo prepared by Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons shows that assuming a stable total property tax bill since 2008, the share of the bill that goes to fund city services will have risen more than 7 percent since the recession began in 2008.

The city share of a tax bill will have risen from 19.61 percent in 2008 to 21.05 percent in 2012 — a 7.37 percent increase.

Meanwhile the share of the tax bill paid to all other taxing districts, including local schools, will have declined from 80.39 percent to 78.95 percent — a 1.8 percent decline.

The more modest changes for the other taxing districts are largely a result of state-imposed tax caps that limit their tax hikes to the rate of inflation.

The city, as a home rule municipality, is exempt from such tax caps.

The City Council meeting is scheduled to begin sometime after 7:15 p.m. and includes a public hearing on the budget, as well as “truth in taxation” hearings on the proposed 2011 tax levy.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. City Council won’t cut labor costs but they will raise taxes

    Why have city services risen so much since the start of the Great Recession?

    Two words – public unions.

    Every year, public unions get an annual pay raise and overtime pay. This year the City Council negotiated a contract with the Police Sergeant's Union and gave them a guranteed annual pay raise that could go higher should two other unions this year negotiate a better deal.

    Heck, the city can't even layoff firefighters now wiithout getting sued by the Evanston Fire Union. Don' believe me? Look it up.

    Labor costs is the largest item in the budget. I'd like to know what cuts in labor costs our city manager and City Council are going to make, if any.The City Council is preparing to raise city taxes a whopping eight percent!!!!!

    The city can't even come to terms on how to cut the duplicative Evanston Township Assessor's Office, which last year got an 80 percent budget increase and this year the deputy assessor gets a pay raise.  It's political because Bonnie Wilson, the Township Assessor, was the former president of the Evanston Democrat Party and probably currys favor with the Democrat political machine that rules absolutely Evanston, Chicago and Cook County .

    I believe everyone on the City Council are Democrats. Some on the City Council received union support to get elected. Is that a conflict of interest?

    Ya think?  


  2. Dont blame the unions! Blame the banks!

    How anyone can blame unionized workers for the recession and the budget crisis is beyond me. Our government has spent a trillion dollars (literally) fighting two losing wars, handed billions of dollars over to unaccountable banks who plunged us into this crisis in the first place with their reckless gambling, then the politicians turn around and blame the teacher working hard and making a just adequate living. And there are some people who will believe anything….The folks occupying Wall street have it right–the 1 percent have been making out like bandits for three decades while the rest of us blame each other because one person's health care plan is slightly less awful than someone else's. It's time to bring back an old idea from the labor movement called solidarity–an injury to one is an injury to all. And for heaven's sake, can we stop scapegoating the firefighters and the teachers who help us every day for the bankers' disaster?

    1. Just adequate?

      A just adequate living? I want to live in your world where $70-100k is "just adequate". This is the entitlement attitude that embodies what OWS stands for. A bunch of whiners who think they're owed something for nothing.

    2. Liberals probably won’t believe this

      but unions are the biggest enablers of one of a large class of the "new rich" out there. How? Unions get these things called pensions, and the folks who manage those pension funds put huge chunks of cash into things called hedge funds and private equity funds. The pension fund cash sitting in those vehicles dwarfs other sources of cash that is parked in these vehicles. Then the liberals spend a huge amount of time bashing the folks who get rich off of these investment vehicles, all the while completely oblivious to the fact they have created the majority of the liquidity that makes the very system they despise possible. So let's end the union pensions and move to a defined contribution plan like everyone in the private sector has and a side benefit is we will collapse a large segment of the private equity and hedge fund markets the liberals so loathe. Deal? Or would liberals prefer to keep confiscating wealth from the middle class and redistributing it such that a limited number of folks get obscenely rich and those chosen ones who have government defined benefit pensions will retire with a nestegg with a net present value that places them firmly in the 1%?

  3. Why are City taxes going up 8% and services getting cut?

    There is a community forum on Thursday November 17th @ 7pm at the Main Evanston Library in the Community Room to discuss pensions for our police and fire fighters in Evanston.

    The dollar amount spent on police and fire pensions has been growing in total dollars and growing as a percent of the city's budget, yet services including Library etc. are getting cut.

    This forum will help people better understand the challenges confronting the City of Evanston.

    Panel members include :

    Marty Lyons – Assistant City Manager

    Timothy Schoolmaster – Evanston Police Pension Fund

    Deron Daugherty – Fire Fighters Pension Fund

    Representative Elaine Nekritz – Vice Chair of Illinois House Personnel and Pensions Committee

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