On Nov. 6, Evanston residents can prevent the city from raising real estate transfer taxes on property sales by voting against a binding referendum.

Red pencil marks box for "No" voteIllinois REALTORS® encourages Evanston residents to vote “no” to raising its transfer tax, saying that approval would make Evanston’s tax the highest in the North Shore area. The trade association predicts a tax hike would hurt the city’s business community because it will make investment and development more expensive than other communities. Evanston may lose businesses that seek to avoid this cost. Transfer taxes are only paid when properties are sold.

Today, when Evanston residents sell their homes, they pay the city a transfer tax based on what buyers will pay for it. Sellers pay $5 for every thousand dollars in the purchase price.

If the referendum passes, sellers who get more than $1.5 million would pay $7 per thousand, and those with properties that sell for more than $5 million would pay $9 per thousand. Sellers of properties for less than $1.5 million would continue to pay $5 per thousand.

Property owners already pay more than their fair share to fund city services, and Illinois REALTORS® says city leaders have not been clear about how they plan to use the additional revenue.