Evanston May Charge NFP’s For Zoning Relief

Should DG be thinking along the same lines?

This probably wouldn’t survive a legal challenge if someone wanted to play hardball, but it certainly bears watching.  After all, council is going to be looking for fees and revenue enhancers to help the budget, and right now Mr. and Ms. Average Taxpayer are a bit thin, having watched years of IRA and 401K savings dissolve away into nothing just as the national economy does a convincing recreation of the Hindenburg…

From Bill Smith’s Evanston Now:

City may charge for zoning relief

Bill SmithThursday, Dec. 04, 2008, at 11:19 am

Evanston aldermen are considering charging tax-exempt organizations when they seek zoning changes.

Under a plan developed by an aldermanic subcommittee, tax-exempt groups that seek permission to rezone a piece of property, or approval for a special use or zoning variation, would be denied the change unless they paid up.

The groups would be required to pay every year an amount equivalent to the city’s share of the real estate taxes that would be due if the property were not tax exempt.

The city cut of real estate taxes amounts to about 20 percent of the total. The aldermen indicated no interest in also charging the non-profits for the roughly two-thirds of property taxes that go to the city’s two school districts.

At this moment in time, there are no local taxing bodies that can afford to give up any revenues by having property flip from the taxable to the tax exempt column.

In a climate where the village will be looking for any budget relief they can get, freezing the taxable real estate in the village makes a certain amount of sense.  Want to buy property, change the zoning, and add it into your existing tax free holdings?  Sure, but you’ll have to pay what the real estate taxes would be in a required annual payment to the village, to the school districts, and to the park district, each year, every year.

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