After initial estimates had the taxpayers’ cost related to the building of the Obama Center at around $172 million, the latest tabulations have the work coming in at roughly $50 million more, much of which may be paid for by a special property tax.
Count Jay Kinzler among those outraged by the idea.
“The Illinois budget was voted on and passed just hours after its release,” Kinzler, running against Rep. Deb Conroy (D-Villa Park) in the 46th House District, told the DuPage Policy Journal. “It was hundreds of pages. It is not possible for our legislators to have had enough time to evaluate it adequately, so snuck in was the Obama Illinois Center. The center will not be a presidential library because Obama’s archives and documents won’t be there and it won’t be federally run. It was supposed to be privately funded. Illinois’ priority should be to support core services and pay the backlog of bills.”
Kinzler laments that the project will also come with other costs.
“It is degrading one of the city’s most beautiful parks,” he added of the project that will sit near Jackson Park.
The not-for-profit Protect Our Parks has already filed a federal lawsuit opposing the project.
Finally, Kinzler argues that the project should be funded with private donors, just as taxpayers were told it would be when the idea for the facility was first broached.
“Those of us who would rather have our tax dollars used for more pressing needs in Illinois shouldn’t be forced to pay for the Obama Center,” he said.