Evanston is faced with a budget gap that could require it to cut its general fund spending by as much as seven percent over the next two years — or raise property taxes by as much as 16 percent.

What do you think the city should do to close that gap?

We’ve prepared a brief survey to get your views on some key options. The survey is estimated to take only a couple of minutes to complete.

You can share your views now. And we’ll report the results later this month.

Thanks in advance for your participation.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Don’t understand the survey

    The numbers add up to $100 and the objective is to cut $93?  So we have to reduce City services by 93%?

    1. Understanding the survey

      The question asks you to reduce the total from $100 to $93 … that's 7 percent.

      The survey form also checks to make sure your allocations to the individual departments actually total $93.

      — Bill

  2. City income tax

    Roll back disastrous Bush tax cuts by imposing a 5% tax on income of all rich people making over $100k. They are not paying their fair share, so the City should tax all residents' income and kick back and watch government coffers fill up, investments flock into town and Clinton-era prosperity return.

    1. City tax

      Give up on your mantra of taxing the rich. $100k is zilch, it is less than $15k in 1965 dollars. Once the rich leave who is left?

  3. I think the survey wants 93% Cuts

    I'm still confused.  The survey makes you cut everything down to 93% not 7%.  If I take $7.00 away, it still tells me it needs to equal $93.00. 

  4. 100K

    How does anyone, couple or single, who makes $100K rich?  There's approximately already a 34% federal tax on that …. not counting state taxes, real estate taxes, etc.  I don't see how anyone, couple or single, who make $250K are rich.  Add two kids, put them in college and that couple probably qualifies for welfare.

  5. Property Tax Increase

    Evanston does need to put its financial house in order, and the large federal redevelopment grant would put foreclosed and abandoned properties back on the tax rolls  – that will help in two or three years.

    Why is Evanston considering the expense of building, maintaining, and staffing another grade school? 

    Evanston homeowners have only so much money and many of their home loans are now under water.  Skokie’s taxes are much lower than Evanston’s, for a variety of reasons.  Do we want to price our town out of the homebuyer market by raising property taxes prohibitively?

    Evanston property owners can’t bail out city finances AND build a new school – there is only so much money.

  6. The city currently charges

    The city currently charges nonresidents a few percent more for certain services.  I think the city should raise the non-resident rates and spend some money marketing the services to increase their use.

  7. Making tough choices

    Evanston has one of two choices to make – either raise taxes significantly or file for bankruptcy and rewrite sustainable contracts with the unions. There is no longer a third choice of squeezing businesses and the job creators since most of them have left Evanston.

    In my opinion, Evanston should do what any good business would do in the same predicament – declare bankruptcy. They should then rewrite sustainable contracts with all the unions including teachers. If the public sector unions aren’t willing to take significant cuts in benefits and pay (equal to that of the private sector), then I would suggest we privatize everything in Evanston including the schools. I am sure most teachers will cross the picket line when they see hundreds of equally qualified teacher applicant’s line up for their jobs. This is not a matter of ‘if’, this is a matter of ‘when’ – in my opinion.

    The recent election in Wisconsin should be a serious wake up call for the rank and file members of all public sector unions. ‘We the people’ are no longer behind you and that isn’t the Republicans talking, it’s the independents that are fed up with your leadership. Your union leaders and the politicians you have elected have lied to you, they have stolen from you, they made promises to you they knew they couldn’t keep, and they continue to blame someone else for the situation at hand. We the people aren’t buying it (or willing to pay for it) anymore.

    Here is my prediction – the country will sway all Republican in 2012 with a serious presence of the TEA Party (both in the Whitehouse and more in the Senate). In a country that is intended to be balanced in order to function, this even scares me and I support the TEA Party.

    In the spring of 2013, Evanston will have its own elections and the campaign will be a referendum on corruption, cover-ups, back door deals, and how all that led to bankruptcy.

    One thing is for certain, there will be a far more informed and enlightened electorate for the next round of elections including Evanston. The irony is how a spot light is now being shown on our government and all because of their shenanigans and incompetence.

    The ultimate irony will be if Evanston is in the process of bankruptcy during its 150th year anniversary.

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