Evanston’s City Council Monday night is scheduled to adopt a 2023 budget that calls for spending $395 million.

That’s a nearly 2% reduction from the $402 million in spending in the initial budget proposed by city staff two months ago.

But it’s a nearly 10% increase in spending from the $360 million in this year’s city budget.

The changes from the staff-proposed budget include nearly $11 million in reductions to proposed spending on capital improvements and $4.5 million in increased spending on public safety pension payments.

The changes also include $1.5 million in projected savings from increasing the anticipated percentage of payroll costs that will be unspent because of delays in filling various vacant positions and more than $2 million in increased revenue forecasts from various taxes.

And the revisions eliminate a proposed 4% increase in the city’s property tax levy.

In other budget-related matters, the Council is scheduled to vote on a measure proposed by Ald. Devon Reid (8th) to transfer $2 million from the general fund to the reparations fund.

The city’s corporation counsel has said making that transfer could increase the risk of legal challenges to the reparations program.

And the Council is also scheduled to consider a proposal from the Reparations Committee to transfer $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to a new reparations program focused on economic development initiatives.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. The reparations were supposed to be paid from a dedicated funding source- Cannabis tax revenue. Its budget should therefore should be limited to the funds that source has generated.

    We should not be robbing the general fund or the ARPA money when the City has a structural deficit and massive, underfunded pensions.

    Please tell your Aldermen to vote against these proposals!

    1. Exactly …

      Please tell your alderman to vote against this.

      You can’t take public money and give to a specific group of people. This has been told to them time and time and time and time again, over and over and over by Lawyers, officials, very smart people …. AND YET …. we still continue to try and do it.

      I would sue if I was forced to pay for reparations through taxes. I’m sure many others would as well. I don’t want my tax money going towards it – find another way.

    2. Good luck convincing your alderperson to vote with any concern for fiscal responsibility: Ald. Eleanor Revelle (7th): “this appears to be the only way to keep the promise to the ancestors.”

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