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Evanston voters approve hiking RE transfer tax on property sales over $1.5M

Evanston properties listed for $1.5 million or more

Voters in Evanston narrowly approved a measure to raise the city’s real estate transfer tax on the sale of properties above $1.5 million, with an even sharper hike on home sales above $5 million.

The existing city policy taxes $5 of each property transfer for every $1,000 in value, according to Crain’s. Under the new rule, the city will charge $7 for every $1,000 in property sales between $1.5 million and $5 million, and $9 per $1,000 for real estate transfers above $5 million.

The ballot measure scored the support of about 17,000 people, or 52 percent of Evanston voters.

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently came out against a similar property transfer tax increase that the City Council there is considering.

The tax revenue will help fund the city’s parks, street improvements and other public safety measures.

Since early November last year, 17 Evanston homes sold for at least $1.5 million, including a $4.6 million lakefront home sold to Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish, according to Crain’s.

BJB Properties closed a $36 million sale late last month of a four-building apartment portfolio to New York-based CLK Properties, just in time to beat the new tax.

The suburb is staring down a $7.4 million budget shortfall this year, and aldermen have discussed shaving down the budget of the city’s fire department, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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