Full Name: Chris Lauzen
What office are you seeking? Kane County Treasurer
What offices, if any, have you previously held? Illinois State Senator 1993 – 2012
Kane County Board Chairman 2012 – 2020
Occupation: CPA Tax Consultant
Education: Harvard Business School, Masters in Business Administration
University of Illinois, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential
Duke University, Bachelor of Arts in Management and English, cum laude
Campaign Website: www.lauzenforkane.com
What would be your top three priorities over the next four years?
1. Earn an extra $1,000,000+ more interest per year on Kane County investment reserves than is currently being earned.
2. Serve as a “taxpayer advocate” to minimize wasteful government spending and maximize residents’ legal property tax exemptions/deductions.
3. Gather and implement County Treasurer function national management best practices by maintaining and strengthening our competent and productive staff serving Kane County residents.
Please visit www.lauzenforkane.com for more details
Taxes are a top concern raised by voters locally. What do you do within your position to address residents’ tax burden?
We will reduce the strain of higher property taxes on homeowners and small business owners, as I did as Kane County Chairman, when we:
- Earn $1,000,000 more interest on our reserves;
- Provide taxpayers and County Board members accurate and understandable information about tax revenue and expenditures (like Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas has done so well); And, assist property taxpayers in using every legal exemption and deduction they are entitled to.
- The difference between political campaign promises and the fulfillment of performance is actual historical experience. During the eight years that you elected me Kane County Chairman and Chief Administrator, we froze the property tax levy to run the County and Forest Preserve, reduced bond debt by 70%, fully-funded the public pension obligations, and did it with 100% transparency of finances and appointments.
If you could redo or reverse any one decision made by the county treasurer in the last four years, what would it be and why?
The $250,000,000 in County investment reserves represent our collective county taxpayer “life savings”. We are currently earning approximately only one-half (1⁄2) of one penny of interest per year (.005) on those investment reserves. (Would you accept this performance from your current investment advisor?)
This means that for the annual use of every $1,000,000 of our “savings”, on average the County’s bankers pay us approximately only $5,000, (i.e. $1,000,000 times .005 equals only $5,000 per year). This is unacceptable.
I am running to correct this deficiency.
What do you bring to the table that your opponents do not?
I respect my opponent, his family and his career, so I decline to answer the newspaper’s question framed as it is in a “me-versus-him”, potentially-negative term.
In positive terms, after 10 years of private industry experience starting an accounting and tax firm from scratch with my wife, Sarah, growing it to serving more than 200 monthly small business clients, and successfully selling it; 20 years in the Illinois State Senate focused on all of the financial committees and as co-chairman of the Bi-Partisan Legislative Audit Commission; and, during the 8 years you elected me to serve as the County Board Chairman and Chief Administrator where we proved that we can meet all of our services and financial obligations without asking you, the taxpayers, for more . . . I’ve learned that it is only the first (and easiest) step to know WHAT to do in our current situation.
Even more important is to know the HOW to do it and WHO to ask for help. During my time in the State Senate, County Board Chairman, as a successful small business tax accountant, and a certified public accountant (C.P.A.), I have received the training and gained experience to know the WHAT, HOW, and WHO to “get things done” properly.
Source: The Daily Chronicle