David Richardson files to run for Miami-Dade Tax Collector, promises ‘streamlined services’

He’s vowing to bring a ‘fresh approach’ to the job, including mobile office hours.

Miami Beach Commissioner and self-described “budget guyDavid Richardson is officially running to be Miami-Dade County’s first elected Tax Collector in more than half a century.

Richardson, an accountant and former state Representative who has served on the City Commission since 2019, filed paperwork Monday to run.

He’s the first person to enter the race, according to Miami-Dade’s campaign finance records.

“My inspiration to run for public office always stems from my belief that through hard work and commitment to the community, so much good can come,” he said in a statement. “I am ready to put my decades of experience as a forensic auditor and certified public accountant to work as voters in 2024 decide who will serve in this newly elected constitutional office.”

Richardson is well-suited for the job, having worked in both the public and private sectors. He began his more than 30-year career as an auditor for the U.S. Department of Defense. In 1993, he opened his own small business focused on forensic auditing of government contracts and has continued as a CPA since.

In 2012, Richardson made history as one of the first openly gay candidates elected to the Legislature.

Last year, he mounted a short-lived campaign for House District 106, citing the Legislature’s “onslaught of legislative attacks on LGBTQ Floridians” and briefly weighed running for the Miami-Dade Commission. He ultimately decided to finish out his four-year term on the Miami Beach Commission.

He vowed, if elected Tax Collector next year, to bring a “fresh approach” to the office, which he said “needs revamping to deliver top-notch customer service” to the county’s more than 2.7 million residents.

“Through mobile office hours,” he said, “we will expand our reach to every corner of the county, and we will deploy enhanced technology to streamline services.”

Miami-Dade hasn’t had an elected Tax Collector since 1957, when voters there adopted a Home Rule Charter abolishing a few constitutional offices — including Tax Collector and Supervisor of Elections — and conferring their powers to the county manager, who appointed people to those posts.

The authority has fallen to the county Mayor, now Daniella Levine Cava, since 2007, when Miami-Dade voters approved a “strong Mayor” system.

That changes next year, when a constitutional amendment, which a supermajority of Florida voters and 58% of Miami-Dade voters approved, goes into effect. The amendment requires all Sheriffs, Tax Collectors, Property Appraisers, Clerks of Court and Supervisors of Election to be elected before 2025.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


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