Retail sales in Evanston have been up sharply in recent months, while across Illinois sales have increased at less than the rate of inflation.

New figures from the state revenue department show that Evanston’s share of sales tax revenue distributed this month was up 9.5 percent from a year earlier, while the statewide figure increased less than one percent.

Evanston sales tax revenue was up just over two percent in Februrary from the year before and up 6 percent in January. The statewide figures were up under two percent in February and up just over 1 percent in January.

The sales tax revenue is distributed to municipalities two months after it is collected from merchants by the state.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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