Officials in Evanston, Ill, have included a 5 percent self-storage tax as part of the city’s proposed budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year. This “user fee” is included as one of several new revenue streams officials are considering within the $317 million budget submitted on Oct. 14, and is expected to generate $50,000 next year. It’s being considered alongside a recreational-marijuana tax, a 5 percent amusement tax and an increase in parking-meter rates to $2 per hour, according to the source.
These proposed solutions are intended to offset rising expenses, including $1.8 million in salary and wage increases, health insurance, and pension contributions. The city council agreed earlier this year to raise the local sales tax from 1 percent to 1.25 percent, which is expected to bring an additional $1.5 million in tax revenue next year, the source reported.
The city expects more than $5 million in additional revenue from a property-tax levy and has indicated it anticipates the tax burden to shift from residential to commercial properties, which have experienced much higher increases in assessed value.
City staff has also been asked to prepare a report on the possibility of a vacant-property tax, which could generate additional revenue and help spur commercial development. Similar actions have been considered or enacted in other municipalities including Oakland, Calif., and Washington, D.C., according to the source.
A special city council meeting to discuss the budget is scheduled for Oct. 26.
Chicago Tribune, Evanston Plans for Increased Fees, Higher Property Tax Levy in Proposed Budget
City of Evanston, Fiscal Year 2020-21 Proposed Budget