NAME: David Michael
IMMEDIATE FAMILY: Gaye and Susan Michael (parents), Natalie Michael Martini (sister), Susanne Michael Himsel (sister)
OCCUPATION: Vice President of Development and Finance for Father McGivney Catholic High School, Glen Carbon
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OFFICE SOUGHT: Madison County Board, District #4
PARTY AFFILIATION: Republican
PREVIOUS ELECTED POSITION: None
Why are you running for this office?
I am running for Madison County Board because I want to help serve our community by being a conservative voice for the people of my district. Unfortunately, for longer than an entire decade, the County Board voted to increase our property taxes. Even during the Great Recession, while home values plummeted, the County Board kept voting to increase the tax levy. I strongly believe that these types of policies are what hurt the average middle class worker in our County the most, and until someone new comes in who starts to say “no” to tax increases and fee increases, we average workers will continue to suffer. I hope to be that voice.
What would be your top priority if elected or re-elected?
If elected, my top priority would be property tax reform. Our families and neighbors cannot keep paying these outrages amounts of property taxes and still maintain their current standard of living. In the state of Illinois, residential property taxes have increased 3.3 times faster than the median family income in the last 26 years (according to the Illinois Policy Institute). As I continue to walk my district, I see home after home that would love an extra $500 to fix up the landscaping, front porch, or siding, but they can’t because the funds do not exist. On top of that, many of our sidewalks and roads are literally falling apart. Why do we pay so much in property taxes, but we can’t even drive on decent roads? All the while, many of our elected officials are taking home $100,000 salaries that are taxpayer-funded. The system just seems broken, and we need new people, like me, to come in and buck the trend of bigger government, increased taxes, and increased pay for elected officials.
What other changes or improvements would you seek in this office?
As I said, my top priority would be property tax reform. However, as a Certified Public Accountant, I believe that my finance and accounting background could be a major asset for the board, specifically with cutting out wasteful and reckless spending. I also strongly support term limits for all elected officials. Term limits would put an end to career politicians and the special interests that often go with them.
Madison County is considering a 5-cent cut to its property tax rate. Are you in favor? Why or why not?
I am absolutely in favor of the 5-cent cut to the property tax rate and here is why. The County Board has had a surplus of roughly 10 percent the last few years. A 10 percent surplus comes out to be about $3 million each year. So if the voters decide to decrease the rate by 5 cents, it would only put a dent into the surplus amount, not the amount needed to fund our basic services and infrastructure, and then still leave money left over for a surplus. Therefore, we could cut the tax rate by the 5 cents without having to reduce a single service or layoff a single employee. Anyone who says anything different just isn’t looking at the basic math.
Why should the voters elect you?
Great question, and my answer is simple. First, I am a fiscal conservative, which I believe our district desperately needs to represent it. Second, I am a Certified Public Accountant with extensive business and nonprofit experience. I have spent my entire life in the private sector, working either for my family’s business or for the Church. As the VP of Development and Finance for Father McGivney Catholic High School, I strive each day to be a good steward of our donors’ money, always trying to save money and keep cost pressures low. I think that type of mindset is exactly what is needed in all levels of government. I believe big government spending and taxing needs to end, and I think that is what the voters in my district want as well.