City staff tonight will propose that aldermen impose a 1 cent per gallon increase in the tax on gasoline sold in Evanston.

A staff memo suggest the increase would raise about $170,000 for the city next year.

City staff tonight will propose that aldermen impose a 1 cent per gallon increase in the tax on gasoline sold in Evanston.

A staff memo suggest the increase would raise about $170,000 for the city next year.

The locally-imposed gas tax now is 3-cents per gallon in Evanston. It stands at 5-cents in Chicago and 6-cents in Oak Park. Skokie’s tax is currently the same as Evanston’s. Wilmette charges 1-cent and several other metro-area towns don’t impose their own gas tax.

The staff memo also suggests raising various utility tax rates to bring in about $100,000 in added revenue next year.

Related link

Potential revenue enhancements (.pdf)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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14 Comments

  1. Evanston Gas Tax—Back to an admitted mistanke

    Evanston did this up to the early 1970s(?).   They finally removed it since most people could and did go to Chicago, Skokie or Wilmette or elsewhere when they drove.   Evanston is closely surrounded by cities with gas stations—Evanston will only LOSE tax revenue as well as hurting dealers.

    1. If you want to drive to Skokie or Wilmette…

      … to save a penny, be my guest.  I will keep buying gas in Evanston. 

      If the price differential between neighboring cities was large, sure, it might cost business (look at the people who drive to Evanston from Chicago to save 20 cents/gallon).  I suspect in the early 1970’s, when gas was 25 cents/gallon, an extra penny ot two might have been perceived as meaningful; today a penny extra is about .03% extra.

      1. It’s NOT the penny.

        It’s the increase in yet another tax to fund the council’s lack of spine in trimming budgets, or cutting staff, or taking a paycut, or actually using some thought to where the cash come from.

        There’s just so much and so far they can raise taxes, and add more taxes, and add fees that aren’t taxes, and keep asking the citizens to pay, and keep paying – for decades worth of fiscal irresponsibility and waste.

        While it’s true that the nickle it will add to the total when I fill the bike, or the half-buck added to the truck is not much, added to everything else in the middle of an economic fiasco shows, to me at least, how far out of touch with reality these people are.

        Enough already, I want MY turn:  I’d like to propose a new tax: a nuisance tax of $100 for anyone proposing new taxes. That should fill the city coffers to overflowing within a week or two. Heck, we could charge a tenth that and at the rate the council is going it might only add a day or two to the week’s estimate.

  2. Fiscal conservatives needed on City Council ASAP

    So now our elected officials want to raise gas and utility taxes in this severe economic downturn with unemployment near 10 percent.

    Let’s see, so far this year:

    -Water rates rise 10 percent

    -We have a new library tax after an unelected Library Board voted to itself the power to tax without ever holding a public hearing.

    – The Township Assessor’s Office budget increases almost 80 percent.

    -An 11 perrcent increase in pension payments to Evanston police and firefighters, which amounts to a 4 percent increase in property tax bills

    -Thousands of dollars was spent on a lawsuit filed by the Evanston Fire Union against the City of Evanston for laying off three firefighters. The lawsuit was settled out of court, and the city agreed not to layoff the firefighters and allow an arbritator to decide whether the city can layoff any firefighters in the future.

    – $17 million in general obligation bonds to refinance sewer system improvements.

    I might add two years ago, the City Council voted to give itself a 20 percent pay raise.

    Yes, Evanston staff deserve some credit for finally laying off 46 employees this year after three years into a Recession. But for the past four years, taxes have gone up while property values have declined and many lost their jobs and homes in this severe economic climate! More cuts in the budget had to be made this year and more sensible and dofficult approaches are needed such as privatizing ambulance and garbage services, and closing down one of the two Central Street Fire Stations..

    It’s time we get fiscal conservatives on the City Council and clean up the mess left by our current tax and spend Council.

  3. Another Tax?!!!

     Sure it is just a penny- but it is the principal. I am really tired of paying for every possible thing in Evanston and still not having any services worthwhile.

    We are a family with 1 small child- and we end up going to Wilmette or Skokie for sports or classes because Evanston programs are not nearly as good.

    We debate moving back into the city since we would still come out ahead paying for private school.  I will definitely wait to get gas when I am out of the city.

    Once I see the city making cuts in programs- the dental clinic— for one should be cut- then I will consider paying another tax to a city that consistently mis-manages taxpayers money. (This is coming from someone who has voted as a democrat in every election. I don’t think my family can afford to continue voting democrat!)

    1. Cutting the Budget

      I’m like-minded regarding voting Democrat.  I’ve long been a strong party-liner, but watching the tax and spend Democrats we currently have elected continue to NOT CUT anything (talking isn’t cutting) has made me decide to vote a straight Republican ticket for all state offices in the upcoming election.  I think we need a few in office to get some of the duplicate services cut (since most of these are nothing more than pet projects and cutting them has only seen constant resistance).  Yes, I realize there is only a slim chance of ousting some of these folks, but if they see a drop in their vote count, perhaps they’ll sit up and take notice. 

      Regarding Evanston issues, Wally has been getting a lot of commentary on what a bad job he is doing.  I watched last year’s entire budget process and, at every turn, when Wally made a recommendation on cutting something, one of our ‘stalwart’ alderman voiced a concern (pet projects!) and sent him back to the drawing board.  The result was that many of the recommended cuts did not take place and we are still facing budget shortfalls that need to be made up in some other way.  Our alderman need to take notice that we are facing critical shortfalls and drop their pet projects.

      Note to Illinois Democratic Leaders:  1) CUT some programs and stop raising my taxes.  2) Go toe-to-toe with the unions and get a grip on the pension issue!  3) Cut the cronyism!

  4. Truly Penny-wise and Pound Foolish.

    Rather than buy my gas at the Citgo on Green Bay – which is only 2 blocks from my house, I already schedule my errands to buy gas at one of several gas stations along McCormick on the Skokie side of the border – where prices are always several pennies per gallon lower than Evanston – at Citgo, BP, Marathon and even Shell.  For better savings, I visit the station on the corner of Wilmette Ave & Skokie Blvd – which beats the Skokie prices.  And if a trip west is in the day’s plans, I buy at the gas station in unincorporated Cook County on Golf just east of Potter Road – no city has taxes there.  Best of all is to fill up in Lake County when visiting Highland Park or any of the communities in the vicinity. 

    Do our politicians understand they are driving business FROM Evanston?  The $170,000 in increased tax is possibly more than offset by REDUCED overall sales (and reduction in the associated taxes)!  In my own personal behavior, I know that to be the case.  There must be others who’ve calculated their options and altered gas buying behavior accordingly. 

    Raising the price differential between communities will only incent others to move their purchases away from Evanston and into other communities.  The shortfall this will lead to undoubtedly will result in Evanston raising the tax again in the next political spin of the budget wheel.

    1. Keep in mind that gas prices vary between stations…

      … for a variety of reasons, one of which is local tax.  Some stations are just cheaper than others– like your Citgo which is ALWAYS one pennt cheaper than the Mobil across the street.  Variability in price is huge in Evanston (consider the Shell across from Jewel on Chicago Ave, which is consistently 20 cents or more higher than Mobil, Marathon and Citgo), and it has nothing to do with tax.

      1. Even so – the tax is the distinguishing difference …

        Your point is understood.  Perhaps I didn’t make my point clear … the Greenbay Citgo is always more expensive than the McCormick Citgo because of the tax.  Greenbay Citgo taxes at Evanston rates.  McCormick Citgo taxes at Skokie (SkEvanston or Evanokie, if you prefer) rates.

        As for Mobil, since their takeover by Exxon, I never buy Mobil because of Exxon’s recision and rollback of rights, protections, and benefits for their gay / lesbian employees. I’ve had an interesting exchange of views with Exxon’s Public and Investor Relations division. They stand firm in their position they cannot afford to provide equal rights, protections and benefits to their gay / lesbian employees … that it makes their gas uncompetitively expensive.  Unfortunately, the local station owners get hurt by this corporate behemoth’s short-sightedness.  (Interestingly, their gas is always more expensive than several other options. Hmmm. At least they can’t blame their GLBT employees for that.)

  5. Gas hike

    I live in North Evanston so it is real easy to go to Wilmette for shopping, no parking meters, etc.  For all of you who do not know, try the Marathon Gas Station on Greenbay Road north of Lake Avenue.  It is truly a delight.  The gas is normally 4-5 cents cheaper than Evanston, they check the fluids in your car, clean your windows and even pump your gas.  It is truly wonderful to see customer service.  This is the way it used to be and we should all learn from this. You do not have to leave your car.  They even process your gas card, cash and bring you a receipt.  Evanston has alot to learn.

    You can get gas in Wilmette, shop at the Jewel and even go their farmer’s market without paying for a meter and possibly a ticket for staying too long.

    1. Marathon owner supports Evanston

      Don’t feel guilty about buying your gas at the Marathon on Green Bay Rd in Wilmette. The owner of the gas station supports all sorts of organizations in Evanston and has done so for years.   

        1. Citgo, BP, whatever

           Citgo is controlled by Venezuela and that money goes to Chavez.

          Whatever.  If you are buying gasoline, there is an almost 100% chance that it is going to some nasty entity:  BP,  the Koch brothers, Halliburton, the Saudi royals, the Emir of Kuwait, Putin, or Iran.

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