On Nov. 6, Evanston and Bannockburn residents can take stands against higher taxes by voting against local referendums concerning real estate transfer taxes.


Illinois 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. In addition, the trade association predicts a tax increase would hurt the city’s business community because it will make investment and development more expensive than other communities. The city could 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.

Illinois REALTORS® says city leaders have not been clear about how would use revenue produced by raising transfer tax rates. In the 2010 census, Evanston had a population of 74,486.


Illinois REALTORS® encourages Bannockburn residents to vote “no” on a referendum that would impose a real estate transfer tax on future property sales. The village already charges sellers a $100 home inspection fee for every property transaction.

Since the state association works to protect private property rights and to keep taxes low, it doesn’t want to give the village government the authority to decide if and when property owners can sell their homes. The association says only 5 percent of Illinois municipalities have transfer taxes and those that do use it to stop the transfer of homes.

Located in Lake County, Bannockburn had 1,583 residents in 2010.