Evanston aldermen tonight are scheduled to consider a one-cent increase in the city’s gasoline tax as they look for additional ways to balance the 2018 city budget.

The gas tax hike would raise about $200,000 — and roughly offset an error discovered in the proposed budget document that overstated anticipated general fund property tax revenue.

The city’s gas tax now is four-cents per gallon. A city staff report indicates that the tax in nearby communities ranges from two- to six-cents per gallon. proposed increase would make Evanston’s rate match the five-cents per gallon charged by Skokie.

The newly proposed revisions also increase transfers to the debt service fund by $446,379 to cover extra required debt payments not included in the initial proposed budget and offset that by catching another budget error that overstated funding required for Dutch Elm Disease inoculations by $500,000.

City staff will also propose reducing the planned amount of new general obligation bond debt to be issued by $3 million by postponing a variety of scheduled projects,

The city expects to issue $17.3 million in new debt for two major project — the new Robert Crown Community Center and capital improvements at the downtown public library.

It had planned to issue $12.2 million in debt for other projects for streets, parks and other facilities. Those projects will take the $3 million hit.

Among the projects affected — engineering work for Main and Howard street projects would be postponed, street patching and traffic calming projects would be scaled back and expansion of Beck Park and new field lighitng for James Park would be delayed.

Update 11/19/17: Consideration of these revisions was postponed at the Nov. 13 Council meeting because of a packed agenda of other items.

They’re now scheduled to be discussed at the City Council meeting on Monday, Nov. 20, along with a proposal to move a youth advocate position from the Police Department to the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department. That position had originally been scheduled to be eliminated under the city manager’s budget proposal.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Balancing budget

    If the goal is to balance the budget, how about spending less? That is how the individual citizens balance their personal budgets.

    1. But then they’d have to stop

      But then they’d have to stop giving our money to restaurants that destined to fail!

    2. How about Wally picking up

      How about Wally picking up the tab on that 500K discrimination payout being voted on (approved) tonight?

  2. Balancing Budget

    How about we fire the City Manager, Wally Bobkiewicz, and others responsible for the $500,000 employment discrimination legal settlement at taxpayers expense being proposed for Suzette Robinson (Former Public Works Director)? Just what Evanston residents needed. Disgusting!

    1. Stop him before he causes more expenses
      It has long been obvious that Wally is not up to the job and in fact keeps causing Evanston to pay these kinds of expenses. He also cannot handle a budget or know when there is a problem. For him it is spend, spend, spend. As the saying goes, eventually Evanston tax payers will run out of money for him and the Council to spend.
      His heart and his brain have not been in Evanston for years.
      It is well past time for the Mayor and Council to get rid of him. But probably they will again be afraid to admit there errors and just cover it up with same old same old—and raise taxes.

    2. Yes!

      Oh, why can’t the mayor anad council have the wisdom that many of these commentors have!  Are they all afraid of losing their jobs????   Some people are blind to all the garbage going on on the 4th floor…..maybe a petition could be started by some of these people outing Wally as a horrible “leader”?  Evanston is losing the war of sanity and good judgement.  Time to make changes, and oust these people!

    3. I really don’t understand how

      I really don’t understand how in the world Bobkiewicz still has his job at this point. I imagine that many people have been fired from the City for far lesser reasons. People need to contact their aldermen and if the aldermen don’t do their job, we need to voite them out. I certainly will contact my alderman. 


        Can we assume that Wally and the mayor are reading these comments..or can we assume they don’t really care about public opinion and the truth!

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