Balancing A Budget With No New Taxes
Despite decreased funding from the State of Illinois, Michael Danforth supported a balanced county budget with no new or increased taxes. In fact, the property tax rate for Lake County homeowners was reduced for 2018 by 7%. The county payroll was reduced and privatization of functions was achieved with no reduction of services to residents. Many governments pass unrealistic budgets that do not account for emergencies and overtime costs, but Michael Danforth refuses to vote for any budget with accounting and budget tricks that disguise deficits or debt.
Open Space Acquisition & Forest Preserve Recreation
As a Commissioner of the Lake County Forest Preserve District, Michael has worked with environmentalists and preservationists to expand and protect nature areas and recreational facilities while those options still exist. Lake County continues to be one of the fastest growing counties in Illinois and the United States even after 20 years of accelerated growth. We are ideally located along multiple highways, rivers and rail routes which help create businesses and jobs that are drawing increasing numbers of families. Michael Danforth knows that commercial development makes open space acquisition an urgent need to preserve the quality of life that drew families to settle in Lake County.
Limited Government Is Best
Michael Danforth is a former businessman who has experience in international business in addition to his law practice. Michael is tired of being overtaxed and underserved by Federal and state government and he wanted to make sure that our county government does not get out of control with taxing, spending, and borrowing. What’s the incentive for Lake County residents to earn a higher paycheck or making a greater profit if the government keeps taking a higher percentage every year? Michael Danforth wants limited responsible government so that Lake County families can use their hard earned money for themselves.
Growing The Lake County Economy
A growing county needs growing revenue to operate its government, but it’s best if that new revenue comes from growth and not regressive taxation. Michael Danforth is aware how hard it is to start and grow a business, and has worked with public and private economic development officials to make Lake County the place where business will be eager to establish their operations. Lake County has recently excelled at attracting transportation, office and warehousing businesses that bring good living wage jobs, ancillary businesses such as stores and restaurants, and much needed tax revenue to support the new families moving to Lake County.
The Benefits of Intergovernmental Cooperation
Networking pays off in government just as it does in business. Michael Danforth has worked over 30 years in the private sector and as a volunteer in the community with local business leaders, elected officials and professional staff in the Federal, state, county, city, village, township, college, high school, elementary school, park district throughout Lake County. He knows how government works and how it doesn’t work, and he knows what government official or agency to call to get what Lake County needs. Michael is sharing that community and institutional knowledge to make Lake County government work better for the benefit our families.
Doing More With Less
Lake County was able to reduce our payroll by $2.8 million this year due to staff reductions, attrition (retirements and early employee buyouts), and privatization. In order to incentivize impending retirees and cut the payroll further, Lake County offers early retirees a “Bridge To Medicare” which allows them to stay on the county health care plan until their Medicare eligibility kicks in, saving the county taxpayers the cost of salaries, employment tax contributions and pension contributions. The County Coroner was encouraged to outsource the function of body removal and transportation, eliminating the need for large vehicles, drivers, and county staff incurring workers compensation claims from heavy lifting injuries. Lake County residents get greater efficiency at a lower cost when government uses private business strategies to run the day to day operations of government.
Helping Lake County Tax Payers
Michael Danforth is committed to ensure that Lake County tax payers receive the information they need to better understand how property value assessments are calculated and how their property taxes are determined. Michael is holding local seminars with property assessment and property tax experts to help residents use all legal means available to reduce their property taxes.