City council approves real estate transfer tax funds for repairs

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Jonah Elkowitz / Daily Senior Contributor

The city council approved the use of $1 million in land transfer tax funds annually over the next ten years to fund the city’s repairs program.

Saul Pink, Deputy City Editor

City Council voted early Tuesday morning to allocate $1 million in property transfer tax revenue per year for the next 10 years to fund its repairs program.

The funds will come from the transfer tax on real estate sales worth more than $1.5 million, which will supplement the city’s 3% cannabis tax revenue to fund repairs. The cannabis sales tax was originally intended to fund repair programs, including the city’s restorative housing program.. But Evanston has only one dispensary.

Only 16 of 122 eligible recipients have been paid in the city’s first round of reparations payments, which give each person $25,000 to use for mortgage relief, home improvements, the purchase of a house or a combination.

The city expected to have three cannabis dispensaries by the time the program began, according to a memorandum from the city. However, Illinois delayed distributing dispensary licenses until July. The city is currently in contact with a prospect who will study the possibility of a location in Evanston.

The memorandum says the Reparations Committee chose to fund reparations through the real estate transfer tax because of its connection to real estate discrimination and redlining, which contributed to the racial wealth gap. Revenues from the tax are currently deposited in the city’s general fund.

The real estate transfer tax charges $7 for every $1,000 of sales between $1.5 and $5 million and $9 for every $1,000 of sales over $5 million. The city has collected $3,184,200 in transfer duty revenue on sales over $1.5 million in 2021 and has collected $1,726,300 so far in 2022.

Earlier in the meeting, council members voted to table a proposal to use $5 million in ARPA funding to support economic development issues related to repairs, such as funding for business districts in historic neighborhoods. black..

E-mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @saullpink

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