Increases in the City of Evanston’s property tax levy have totalled 56 percent over the last decade, more than double the 26 percent increase in the consumer price index during that period.

Increases in the City of Evanston’s property tax levy have totalled 56 percent over the last decade, more than double the 26 percent increase in the consumer price index during that period.

During the decade the property tax has risen less than the rate of inflation in only two years — 2001 and 2006.

Next year promises to be no exception to the pattern — with the city manager’s budget calling for a 4.2 percent increase in the tax levy, even after making $3 million in spending cuts and increases to other taxes and fees, while the rate of inflation has been running at 2 percent or less.

The consumer price index figures are the latest available, showing changes for each 12 month period through August of this year.

City officials have generally ascribed the soaring costs for city services to rising costs for pensions, health insurance and other benefits for city employees.

The first chart looks at each year’s change individually. The second chart shows the cumulative impact of the changes over the decade.
 

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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