The Daily Northwestern reports that Evanston officials aren’t joining the trend of cities trying to negotiate formal a PILOT, or payment in lieu of taxes, program with local non-profits including Northwestern University.

While Evanston aldermen have talked about setting up such a program in the recent past, Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons tells the Daily it’s not part of the planning for next year’s city budget, although the city “is going to re-evaluate all revenue and expenses from all residents and businesses in the community.”

The story notes that the university pays a variety of taxes and service fees to the city, and even a county tax on parking permits it issues. In addition, revenue generated by any tickets issued by the university’s police force is paid to the city, says Eugene Sunshine, the university’s senior vice president for business and finance.

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  1. NU Payment In Lieu of Taxes. Why not now?

    Just curious why Evanston won't consider using a model that hundreds of other communities (including Boston and Providence, RI) have chosen? From the Daily Northwestern:  …"115 other municipalities, have begun asking for voluntary PILOT payments from tax-exempt institutions. Proponents of the programs say these payments are crucial to help cities recover from the Great Recession, according to David L. Thompson, vice president for public policy at the National Council of Non-Profits. A November 2010 study by the Lincoln Land Institute concluded that PILOTS can be successful when used in conjunction with other programs and when the city and non-profit work together on the details of the agreement." Why not now? What, exactly, are we waiting for? Until EVERY community center and service is closed due to budget cuts? It's the elephant in the room, folks. 

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