A revised public benefits proposal issued this weekend raises the headline value of benefits Northwestern University is offering Evanston for approval of its plans to rebuild Ryan Field from $100 million to more than $157 million.
It does that by extending the duration of the proposed recurring payments of $10 million a year from 10 years to 15 years and raising the liquor and amusement tax guarantee from $2 million to $2.5 million per year.
The latest proposal also adds cost of living adjustments of up to 3% per year to $6 million of the annual payments for the first 10 years.
Most of the benefits would start being paid in 2024, but those directly tied to stadium operations would not go into effect until the year the new stadium is completed.
The revised public benefit package is included in an update draft memorandum of understanding that is scheduled to be voted on by the City Council Monday night as part of a package of ordinances to approve rebuilding the stadium and authorizing the university to hold up to six major concert events there each year.
The new proposal also commits the school to pay the city $3 million a year for 10 years as a revived “Good Neighbor Fund” if the stadium project is approved, but for some reason NU decides on its own not to go ahead with the stadium project.
The previous version of the community benefit package was announced by the university on Oct. 30.
The Council Monday, in addition to the memorandum of understanding, is scheduled to adopt as special orders of business ordinances approving the stadium planned development, adopting a zoning change to permit the concerts, raising the tax rate for amusement events like the concerts and increasing the liquor tax for amusement and athletic events.
Under the special order of business procedure the measures can’t be held over until the next Council meeting at the request of two council members, but they could be tabled to a date certain if a majority of the council agrees to do that.
The Council is also scheduled to vote Monday to introduced the city’s proposed record-high $449 million 2024 budget and tax levies to fund the budget.
The stadium project, if approved, would give the city several million in added revenue in 2024 that’s not included in the current version of the budget.
It would give the council the option of eliminating proposed the 7.9% property tax hike in the budget without having to cut any of the budget’s proposed spending.