State Treasurer candidate Jim Dodge thinks Obama Center could spur growth
Jim Dodge hopes cooler heads prevail in the bubbling controversy over tax money being used for the Barack Obama Presidential Center on Chicago’s Southside.
The issue recently hit a fever pitch amid reports the original $172 million allocated for the project in the new state budget runs short by at least $50 million. New estimates put the cost at $224 million, fueling talks of a special property tax being instituted by lawmakers to account for the difference.
“The ex-president is clearly an important figure who began his political career here in Illinois and to have a library ... here in the city in some ways seems fitting,” Dodge said.
Dodge, running as a Republican for Illinois State Treasurer, thinks the project could more than pay for itself.
“It should spur economic growth and payback on its investment a few times over,” he said. “In terms of the funding, I really don’t have a problem with how I expect this to end up. We have to come up with ways to spur growth in this state and if this is one way to bring us closer to creating more jobs, then so be it.”
Like many others, Dodge acknowledges that the project could mean a new way of life for some.
"Hopefully, everyone can work together and make this transition as smooth for everyone as it can be,” Dodge said. “Change doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.”