Candidate Dwight Kay wants Obama Center funded by donors, not taxpayers
Dwight Kay wants to know how state lawmakers manage to pull $200 million practically out of thin air.
“We don’t have any money to pay for things that we need or bills that we’ve already amassed, but we can come up with $200 million for a presidential library or political center,” Kay said. “Someone needs to show me where this pot of gold is that politicians seem to think taxpayers can fill every time something goes wrong and they want more money.”
Initial estimates had taxpayers on the hook for $172 million for the Barack Obama Presidential Center. However, current calculations put the price tag around $224 million with some proposing that the additional funds be covered by a special property tax.
Kay, who is running against incumbent state Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville) in Illinois’ 112th District, opposes the plan because of the cost to Illinois residents.
“I hear the special increase is directed toward the people of Cook County and they will be charged even more in taxes,” Kay said. “I have to believe that they are just like the people in my district and are dead opposed to paying even more in taxes.”
Kay also believes the center will also come with other costs, and that, ultimately, President Obama should be raising funds for the project.
“You’re going to have a certain number of people that are facing being displaced and the ones that remain are also going to have encountered their share of changes,” Kay said. “You don’t use taxpayer money for bailouts or to build structures where the president should be raising money for them.”
Kay is not the only candidate to speak out against the cost of the center and Protect Our Parks Inc., an Illinois-based non-profit, has already filed a federal lawsuit opposing the project.
“In the end, taxpayers shouldn’t be forced into paying for things that aren’t their problem,” Kay said. “Something like this library should never happen, at least not where taxpayers are forced to foot the bill for it.”