How you voted in last week’s real estate transfer tax increase referendum seems to have depended a lot on where in Evanston you live.

The referendum to increase the transfer tax 20 percent to fund affordable housing programs went down to defeat by a 48 to 52 percent margin citywide.


Precincts tinted red voted at least 55 percent for the referendum, with the deeper red precincts topping 60 percent. Precincts tinted blue voted at least 55 percent against the referendum, with the deepest blue precincts exceeding 60 percent no votes.

Voters in downtown and campus precincts with lots of renters — who would not have to directly pay the tax — tended to favor it, as did voters in five 4th Ward and one 9th Ward precincts that also have many rental units.

Opposition to the referendum was strongest for the most part in the north and west edges of the city where single family homes dominate.

But strong opposition to the referendum also showed up in two 8th Ward precincts with a mix of owner-occupied and rental units, even though the referendum was proposed by 8th Ward Alderman Ann Rainey.

You can see how your precinct voted by checking the precinct-by-precinct returns at the County Clerk’s web site.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. Bill excellent analysis- on the election
    The analysis by votes tells us those that rent clearly want to tax those that own homes. Would the NU students and other who are renters favor if we put a tax on dorm rentals for affordable housing or rental housing? Also given that every city council member favored this proposal it shows us how out of touch some of our council members are with the voters wishes! The 6th ward alderperson was on the Metra train platform at Central passing flyers out in favor of the referendum yet almost his entire ward voted against the referendum.

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