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Council hikes new housing tax

Evanston alderman have adopted a plan that will raise the recently adopted tax on new condo developments from an average of $4,000 to as much as $8,560 per unit.

The council had deadlocked on the measure 4-4 at its last meeting in December, but it passed 5-4 with the addition of a tie-breaking vote by Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, who'd missed the previous meeting because of the illness of her husband.

The tax is framed as an expense to be borne by condominium and townhouse developers to subsidize affordable housing programs, but depending on market forces, some or all of the cost will be passed along to condo buyers.

The new measure adds a requirement that 3 percent of all units in any development of more than two-dozen units be sold at below-market prices. The earlier version of the ordinance imposed a flat $40,000 charge for each 10 units in a development.

Alderman Edmund Moran, 6th Ward, who pushed for the new measure, said he was happy the council "finally passed what truly can be described as an inclusionary zoning ordinance."

"It didn't have any inclusion in it for a while," he said.

Related story

Aldermen deadlock on new housing tax – Dec. 12, 2006

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