Other People's Money | Letters | Chicago Reader

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Other People's Money




I was furious when I read Edward H. Kim's letter to the editor in your November 14 issue. How could any Northwestern student, who is surrounded by hundreds of arguments pro and con on this issue [Neighborhood News, October 31] in every paper he looks at every day (this is getting unbelievable coverage up here), totally ignore the biggest complaint of the Evanston taxpayers: who is paying for this development? Why, of course, it's the property owners of Evanston! Evanston property owners pay the highest property taxes of any suburb in the North Shore, yet probably have one of the lowest per capita incomes in said area. Why? Because Northwestern University, which owns a huge amount of Evanston, doesn't pay any property taxes. That leaves the other property owners to pay for all of the city services, including the ones used by the students of Northwestern. Frankly, Northwestern is already bleeding the average taxpayer in Evanston dry; why should we subsidize a playground for the students of Northwestern?

As to your complaint that the businesses in the downtown area are aimed at an older crowd, you must have missed all of the fast food outlets, music stores, bookstores, coffee shops, clothing stores, etc. And even if you were right, take a Business 101 class and remember two words: supply and demand. If the students put some money back into our community and support a particular type of business, you will see plenty of supply to meet the demand.

Lastly, if your main problem is available movie screens, a large multiplex theater is in the works for Howard and Clark streets at the Chicago-Evanston border, just ten minutes south of the campus. Come to think of it, how could two multiplexes that close together both survive? Other movie alternatives are the five-screen Evanston that is at the north end of the campus and the films that the student board shows on campus. However, several movie theaters in Evanston have closed: the Varsity, the Coronet, and I believe the Valencia; where was all the support for screens then?

Mr. Kim shouldn't be so eager to spend other people's money: if Northwestern paid its fair share of property tax and contributed to subsidizing this new project, then we might have something to talk about. Until then, please keep your hand out of my wallet.

Chris Carson


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