This State Just Funneled an Insane Amount of Money to Help Obama

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Obama Presidential Centr model
Photo via the Obama Foundation

It is not even built yet, and the Obama Presidential Center is a financial nightmare.

In 2018, when the Illinois state budget faced a $1.5 billion deficit, taxpayers were on the hook for $224 million.  Even worse, that fact was largely kept secret. For example, there is no mention in the 1245-page budget of how much State money was earmarked for the ex-President’s complex.

Among other things, that original projection called for $174 million in roadwork and another $50 million in improvements to the nearby Garfield Green Line station.

Besides the State budget, funding sources include:

 

  • $25 million via a federal grant

 

  • An additional property tax imposed on the residents of Chicago

Controversy Surrounding the Obama Presidential Center

That property tax add-on is possible because of an amendment to Illinois’ Museum Act. This change gives a huge boost to the fundraising efforts. But it also gave the OPC public parkland, and to some, that is a problem.

The nonprofit Protect Our Parks filed a lawsuit against both the Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago itself. POP claims the transfer of public land to a private entity violates state law. The land in question is part of Jackson Park, and dates back to 1893.

In an interesting turn, POP’s suit also alleges that the use of tax money to build the Center is a form of compelled political speech. As such, it is a violation of the First Amendment.

Higher property taxes concerns many neighborhood residents. This could lead to rent increases that could potentially displace fixed- or low-income residents, many of whom are African-American.

In fact, it was not until January 2020 that ANY Community Benefits Agreement proposal came from OPC officials. Some feel that the proposal does not go far enough.

Alderwoman Jeanette Taylor criticized the sincerity of the CBA proposal.

“I don’t want to kill [the city’s proposal], but if that’s what needs to happen to make sure we’re not displaced, then that’s what’s got to happen. We’re smart enough to come up with our own plans. …Don’t ignore our lived experiences with your ‘I think I know because I read it in a book.’”

As of this writing, the total estimated cost of the Obama Presidential Center is over $500 million. Construction has been on hold since September of 2018. 

 

 

7 COMMENTS

  1. Obama has over 300 million in his “library”/’slush ‘ Fund, have use that money… like back in the day when a label actually meant something, “library Fund” and not simply a slush fund from unknown donators as kickbacks for favors that is used for just about any purpose a President wants.

  2. What the heck. Chicago is sooo broke it can’t even pay it retirement fund obligations!…………Of course, THAT never prevented them pissing away the Taxpayers money before. It is SOOOO easy to spend someone else’s money. Doesn’t hurt at all. That’s why we have Illinois pensionnaires making over $400,000 a year.
    You see, in Illinois you can have 5 different jobs over your lifetime and then draw 5 pensions!!!!

  3. The states are going to try to get the federal government to bail them out of their debts now because of the virus. I can’t even imagine how much Chicago will try to get away with.

  4. It’s a mystery way every ex President seems to warrant a massive, ultra-costly monument to commemorate his tenure. Common sense ought to dictate the public could benefit to a much greater degree with those millions of tax directed elsewhere, rather than to stroke the ego of a former President.

  5. So now Obama would steel from his own people for his pride in a building with his name on it . That should help to feed a lot of people from that state after taxs go up to pay for it . Remember that come election time . The delusional democrats will not care how you live as long as you vote for them .

  6. It’s outrageous that taxpayers have to pay for the worst president ever library.
    Presidential libraries are suppose to be privately funded and have been privately funded until now. But Obama has been feeding at the pubic trough his entire life so he must think he should continue.
    Of course the Chitcago dims are getting around the accepted rules for funding by using tax money for land acquisition and infrastructure improvements.
    There’s is nothing Obama and dipocrats won’t do to stick taxpayers with the Obama Liebrary bill, it’s what Obama and dumbocrats do, they spend other people’s money.

  7. It is not a library. He changed from library to foundation. He will not have to pay anything because it will be called a 50lC foundation. His Personal Foundation for political reasons. Nothing of his presidency will be there as in other Presidential libraries for the public review and to do research of his presidency. All his documents have been stored so the public can not review.

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