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Falling revenue outpaces spending cuts

Evanston officials say city general fund revenue came in 6 percent under budget last year, while expenses were about 3 percent under.

That left the city with a $3 million reduction in reserves, which has since been partially plugged by proceeds from a $1.9 delayed sale of city property that had been planned to take place before the end of the fiscal year in February.

Evanston officials say city general fund revenue came in 6 percent under budget last year, while expenses were about 3 percent under.

That left the city with a $3 million reduction in reserves, which has since been partially plugged by proceeds from a $1.9 delayed sale of city property that had been planned to take place before the end of the fiscal year in February.

Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons told aldermen Monday big drops in revenue came from real estate transfer taxes, building permit fees and the city share of state income tax revenue, as well as utility taxes and sales taxes.

Most city departments managed to trim their spending, but fire and police expenditures were over budget. 

Lyons says that in planning for next year’s budget the staff doesn’t plan to make any assumption that revenues will recover from last year’s low levels.

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