Real Estate Transfer Tax

In 1986, the City of Evanston enacted a Real Estate Transfer Tax (Ord. 33-O-86) on the transfer of real property. The City Clerk’s office collects the tax and issues exemptions from the tax. It is paid by the seller, unless other arrangements have been made by contract. Revenue from this tax goes into the City's General Fund.

Real Estate Transfer Tax

Regular Transactions

$5 per thousand of the real property sale, rounded to the nearest thousand.

Exempt Transactions

$100 administrative fee

Real Estate Transfer Tax Form

Water Billing Affidavit

Real Estate Transfer Tax payments can be made in person or mailed to the Evanston City Clerk's Office (Map)

Regular Transactions

An online Real Estate Transfer Tax Declaration form is now available and will be used for all transactions (tax payments and exemptions). Click on link above.

To obtain Real Estate Transfer Tax stamps you will need to complete the online form and bring the original plus 1 copy to the City Clerk's Office.

The Ordinance requires that any outstanding debt owed to the City of Evanston must be paid in full before a transfer stamp is issued for single-family homes, apartment buildings, condos and commercial properties. Current water and sewer fees (plus penalties) must also be paid in full before the transfer stamp is issued (this does not apply to condominium units or vacant lots). Property sellers are to call the Water Division (Monday-Friday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm @ 847.866.2943) two days before closing to determine the final amount owed on water, plus any outstanding debt owed to the City of Evanston.

Exempt Transactions

For exempt transactions, the same Real Estate Transfer Tax Declaration form is completed with information relating to the Grantor and Grantee. In addition, a fully executed copy, original deed or other documentation to support the exemption must be presented when obtaining an exemption. The deeds to be recorded must be signed by the parties and witnessed by a notary before coming into the City Clerk’s office. These documents and a $100 administrative fee must be presented to the City Clerk's office at the time the tax-exempt stamp is obtained as required by City of Evanston Ordinance (39-O-06).


Payment for transfer or exempt stamps is by personal check, cash or credit card (American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa). Credit card payment for this tax may be made only by the cardholder, in-person with his/her card. For sales of more than $1 million, a certified or cashier’s check is required.

Real Estate Transfer Tax forms

When submitting your form to purchase stamps by mail, please send the original plus one (1) additional copy of the completed first page, and include a self-addressed stamped envelope.