I had to look it up »« Self-identify!

Kentucky has nothing to complain about

I’m going to be a contrarian here. I think the Kentucky legislature has made a perfectly sensible budget decision.

Here’s the deal: in the current budget, a couple of interesting decisions have been made.

Funding for K-12 education: -$50 million

Tax breaks for the Ark Park: +$43 million

Highway improvements for the Ark Park: +$11 million

See? Almost perfectly balanced: all the money handed over to creationists is taken away from education.

And it makes perfect sense, too. It’s not as if the next generation might need a high school diploma to take advantage of the employment opportunities provided by Answers in Genesis. In fact, it’s probably a selling point to the creationists to have an especially ignorant work force already in place.

Good work, Governor Beshear!

(Also on Sb)

Comments

  1. unbound says

    I’m sure the kids in Kentucky will have a fine career working menial jobs at the Ark Park. In fact, why not save even more money and just have the kids start working there full time starting at 10 years old or so since we are turning the clock back a century or two anyways…

  2. Ichthyic says

    hmm, I’m not one for numbers, but is this actually an appropriate comparison?

    tax breaks are dependent on profits, and are an estimate over time.

    the 50 million is per anum, and not dependent.

    while 50 million education budget seems ridiculously small for a state with the population of Kentucky, and that’s worth talking about, does it really have anything to do with tax breaks for an entertainment park?

    Is it really taking the candy from the mouths of babes and giving it to con artists?

    I’d like someone from Kentucky to explain a bit better how their budget actually works.

  3. says

    while 50 million education budget seems ridiculously small for a state with the population of Kentucky,

    That’s not the education budget. It’s what’s being effectively cut from it due to incorrect population estimates, on top of other changes that are essentially cuts as well.

  4. says

    You’ve gotta be shittin’ me. More money goes to the Ark Fucking Park than education? Why the fuck does anybody live in that horrible state?

  5. Ichthyic says

    That’s not the education budget. It’s what’s being effectively cut from it due to incorrect population estimates,

    ah, I read the number PZ posted with a dash instead of a negative.

    still, point stands.

    is it really the case that Kentucky will be receiving 43 million dollars less in this budget because of the Ark Park?

    I don’t think it can be phrased that way, and I’m not sure this is a valid comparison.

  6. Wren, a Tru Hoppist says

    While I hate the Ark Park and that Steve Bashear is being an idiot about it by having tax breaks and road improvement money, I do have to point out that the Ark Park only (as if this is a small amount) $4 million donated out of the 20-25 million needed. So afaik, none of the road improvements have happened, and the possible taxes on the Ark Park won’t even be broken, because no one is donating to that farce.

    For people who don’t understand what PZ said, the only state money that was planned to be spent on the park was for road improvements, provided the park actually broke ground. The rest was tax breaks.

  7. says

    How stupid it would be to subsidize anti-knowledge and teach knowledge at the same time.

    This just shows that they know what a fucking stupid idea the ark park really is. There just are a lot of people in Kentucky who rather prize stupidity.

    Glen Davidson

  8. Wren, a Tru Hoppist says

    You’ve gotta be shittin’ me. More money goes to the Ark Fucking Park than education? Why the fuck does anybody live in that horrible state?

    I love the landscape. I love the mountains here. I also work here. This is where my (albeit crazy religious) family is (except for my husband). The people here are actually fairly nice, provided you aren’t openly gay, or a muslim, or an open atheist.

    Also, more money doesn’t go to the ark park than to education. PZ is showing the planned tax break (~40million) and the price of road improvements, provided AIG breaks ground.

    It’s still a waste of money, as I have noted before that Williamstown, KY is a very out of the way place. There’s a lake there, people go camping there, some of my coworkers live there and are happy because they can shoot a gun off their porches and no one will hear or care. Road improvements there would be a waste of money, even if the park opened up.

  9. carovee says

    the only state money that was planned to be spent on the park was for road improvements, provided the park actually broke ground. The rest was tax breaks.

    Um, tax money not coming in when it otherwise would counts as a loss of state money does it not? I’m assuming that since these are numbers from a budget, they are cutting money from education because of an anticipated shortfall which includes the $43 million tax break.

  10. grantcomeau says

    “tax breaks are dependent on profits, and are an estimate over time.”

    I don’t know about you, but my house isn’t turning a profit and yet I pay property taxes every year. There are a LOT of ways to give a business a tax break that do not rely on them being profitable.

  11. Wren, a Tru Hoppist says

    Um, tax money not coming in when it otherwise would counts as a loss of state money does it not? I’m assuming that since these are numbers from a budget, they are cutting money from education because of an anticipated shortfall which includes the $43 million tax break

    The park can’t even generate money yet; it hasn’t broken ground, and supposedly won’t until enough is donated to it. I realize the tax breaks suck, and I don’t support them, but they should only go into effect if the park is being built.

    Unless (activating conspiracy mode) somehow AIG can get tax breaks on something they aren’t even doing?

  12. consciousness razor says

    tax breaks are dependent on profits, and are an estimate over time.

    Yes, up to $43M if they make enough, over a ten-year period. I’m not sure, but it may be based on the $119M estimate reported here (based on 1.2 visitors/year).

    The budget still just is what it is though. If over the course of ten years, Kentucky doesn’t have to pay out as much in tax rebates because the Ark Park doesn’t make enough profit, that doesn’t mean the state could go back in time to budget more for legitimate things like education. In ten years, Kentuckians will probably not have much more than what they’re projecting, and will probably demand for more tax breaks while ignorantly whining that their public services are being gutted for no apparent reason. After they’re done moaning incoherently, a trip to the Ark Park, with Moon Pies and stuffed dinosaurs for their ignorant children.

  13. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, liar and scoundrel says

    1.2 visitors per year would be pretty funny, though.

  14. robro says

    Gee, I thought the key point was simple: Beshear and his ilk support stupidity, not education. It’s distressing for so many reasons, including that it’s not even surprising any more.

  15. Alverant says

    @Wren

    The people here are actually fairly nice, provided you aren’t openly gay, or a muslim, or an open atheist.

    In other words they’re nice if you’re exactly like them.

    Do they approve of liberals or Wiccans?

  16. Ichthyic says

    What the fuck is the point of cutting taxes for something you’re promoting because it’ll bring in taxable tourist cash?

    pre-incentive.

    I think the idea is that it won’t remain tax free forever, and, that using it to attract tourist dollars into KY is a good thing.

    I have little doubt it won’t work as planned, but I think that’s the idea anyway.

    hell the creation “museum” doesn’t draw enough tourist dollars to make it significant at all.

    even if this thing ends up being ten times the moneymaker, it still wouldn’t be a significant draw or generate significant money.

  17. Ichthyic says

    The budget still just is what it is though. If over the course of ten years, Kentucky doesn’t have to pay out as much in tax rebates because the Ark Park doesn’t make enough profit, that doesn’t mean the state could go back in time to budget more for legitimate things like education.

    but neither does it mean the state would be losing money because of the Ark Park, either.

    again, if the tax breaks are dependent on the income the park generates…

    I’m failing to see how this costs the state their educational budget?

    they aren’t paying out, except on the highway improvements, right?

    all the tax break is saying is that they wouldn’t be getting that extra income from the park, if, in fact, it actually generated any income to begin with.

    I’m still not seeing how this is pitted AGAINST the education budget for the state.

  18. consciousness razor says

    1.2 visitors per year would be pretty funny, though.

    Indeed. As long as those 1.2 people spend $9,166,666.67 on tickets to see a fucking boat and read fairy tales, along with whatever Biblically-approved concessions they may offer of course.

  19. says

    No, not really a direct monetary comparison here. And yet, promising to fund new roads to suit a private business that won’t be paying shit in taxes for years (assuming they ever build the thing)while cutting spending for education seems…unsound.
    Reminds me vague of a situation here in Eugene in the 1990’s when Hyundai came to town, and the city bent over with tax breaks, allowed them to fill in protected wetlands areas, and spent money to restore other wetlands to compensate, only to have Hyundai pull out rather quickly after getting cited for storing illegal flammables & chemicals and for telling the agency screening their job applicants not to send them any more women or black people.
    The more you supplicate yourself to bring jobs to an area, the worse the jobs you actually get.
    Killed By Fish

  20. says

    pre-incentive.

    I think the idea is that it won’t remain tax free forever, and, that using it to attract tourist dollars into KY is a good thing.

    I have little doubt it won’t work as planned, but I think that’s the idea anyway.

    hell the creation “museum” doesn’t draw enough tourist dollars to make it significant at all.

    even if this thing ends up being ten times the moneymaker, it still wouldn’t be a significant draw or generate significant money.

    Would the park be not made without the incentive?

    If not then why the fuck bother with an incentive? isn’t that just saying “give me less money please!”

  21. Ichthyic says

    …here’s the thing:

    Say you live in a place where you are absolutely desperate for income to come from outside of that place.

    How do you go about attracting businesses that will draw income from outside of your area?

    I understand what Kentucky is trying to do by encouraging the ark park to build there by agreeing to limit the taxes they would have to pay. They want outside money to come into the state, and tourist dollars are a common way to do that.

    that’s why:

    -i don’t think it’s correct to say that 43 million is NOT going to KY education because of the park. at most you could say that the highway improvements, being an actual cost, might be removed from the general fund that *might* have gone towards the education budget. Then again, they might not, given how they divvy up general funding.
    -Kentucky is obviously so desperate for external funding, they are willing to try the Ark Park to see if it will work.
    -The people who thought it even *might* work are so bloody ignorant as to make one wonder if they can tie their own shoelaces.

    all that said, I reiterate that I don’t see the 43 million in potential revenue (it’s not even a tax cut, since the park doesn’t even exist!) lost means that we can legitimately say it is being taken from education.

    sorry, AFAICT, this comparison is not accurate, and will end up biting people in the ass.

  22. Ichthyic says

    Would the park be not made without the incentive?

    probably not, given that the owners don’t actually expect it to do more than cover costs initially…

    hence why they are asking for a tax break.

    the point is to encourage the building of the thing such that they won’t ALSO be burdened with paying full taxes on the income generated.

    so, yeah, the state actually PAYS nothing from that perspective; they just get LESS for a few years from the project as a “grace period”.

    the only costs to the state that I can see so far are for the necessary highway improvements.

    That said, I do agree that even THAT eleven million will likely end up being a waste that would have been better spent trying to encourage already established tourism businesses, etc.

  23. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    1.2 visitors per year would be pretty funny, though.

    Collective IQ, or actual fractions of people?

  24. consciousness razor says

    all the tax break is saying is that they wouldn’t be getting that extra income from the park, if, in fact, it actually generated any income to begin with.

    I don’t know why this isn’t obvious to you, but a budget has both income and expenses. The fact that the state isn’t getting the taxes here even though it normally would means that other expenses have to be cut to balance the budget. The park will certainly make enough to get some of the tax rebates (probably not the whole $43M), but the state isn’t getting that income which it needs to spend on expenses, such as education, which it happens to be cutting.

  25. Wren, a Tru Hoppist says

    In other words they’re nice if you’re exactly like them.

    Do they approve of liberals or Wiccans?

    Liberals are socialist god hating nazi wannabes, donchano?

    Wiccans are satan worshipping socialist hippies, donchano?

  26. Ichthyic says

    No, not really a direct monetary comparison here. And yet, promising to fund new roads to suit a private business that won’t be paying shit in taxes for years (assuming they ever build the thing)while cutting spending for education seems…unsound.

    agreed.

  27. ibyea says

    I feel like this country is trolling me. Everything it does seems to be designed to piss me off.

  28. chrisv says

    When I get on a plane, I want to know if the pilot got his education in Kentucky. When I need an appendectomy…ditto. I simply, positively, unqualifiably do not understand how so many people can live their lives based on fairy tales. Grow the hell up.

  29. duphrane says

    @ janiceintoronto,

    It’s no wonder at all. I’m actually sort of surprised to travel abroad and find that no one grabs me and shakes me while screaming and crying, to be perfectly honest.

  30. sc_fdc288037056442389ec071d570288e6 says

    Wait, wait… “

    the $43 million tax break Kentucky approved for a Bible-themed amusement park —
    which will include a 500-foot by 75-foot reproduction of Noah’s Ark

    Forgive MY ignorance, but doesn’t there need to be an ark to reproduce it?
    Reproduce – to make a copy, representation, duplicate, or close imitation of.
    I think the author assumes too much. A better term might be “fabrication of Noah’s Ark”. After all, that is what Genesis is, a fabrication.

  31. RFW says

    At one time, the then-minister of finance for BC was assailed by complaints from industry about property taxes. His response was that those taxes are simply part of the cost of doing business in BC. (In BC at that time, “industry” mainly meant bit forestry-related plants, e.g. sawmills and pulp mills, but included some mining related activities.)

    The interesting thing about this: the BC government of the day was a fairly right-wing, populist party with a faint religious tinge.

    It always astonishes me how gullible politicians are about such things. The Olympics are perhaps the most glaring example. Invariably, marvelous side effects are promised. Just as invariably, those side effects never eventuate, and there are inordinate cost overruns. Meanwhile the International Olympic Committee walks away with all the money made from broadcast rights leaving the hapless body politic to pay the bills.

    Tax breaks always backfire, as long as those in charge make sure that industry is not being used as a cash cow – the other side of the coin.

    In the case of the arkpark and sovereign state of Kentucky, somebody should have said “if you want to build your park, go right ahead, but you will pay taxes like any other business. As long as your business model is sound, those taxes will be unimportant in the larger picture.”

    But, no, the AIG people put out grossly exaggerated figures for expected attendance (the technical term is “pulled out of their asses”) and the silly pols fall all over themselves to kiss ass. “Kiss ass” is another technical term.

  32. katherineleonard says

    If I remember correctly, the fundies applied for the tax incentives and road improvements through a regular “theme park” license, which meant that the state couldn’t deny them money on the basis of it being religiously-themed or face a discrimination lawsuit.

    But you can bet that any profits from the business would then be “charitable contributions” to the various churches and religious organizations supporting it (including AiG), thus avoiding having to pay many taxes… and I’m sure many of the employees will be “volunteers”, thus evading payroll taxes, too.

    All that is, of course, assuming that they ever get the money to build it: last I read, the Ark Park was some $20 million short of their $24 million goal.

    That $11 million allocated for improving the highway for a park that will probably not be built any time this decade could be MUCH better spent elsewhere. In addition to the K-12 public schools seeing a major cut–which is actually a GOOD thing for some of the districts, but that’s another story–the state’s 8 public universities and 16 community colleges are about to be hit with a 6.4% cut. With enrollment still high due to the crappy economy (though lower this year than last), my university alone is losing over $4.5 million in funds, and has had to institute both an expenditures freeze and a hiring freeze on top of the already 4-year-long wage freeze.

    But! The state spent nearly $4 million last year to improve roadways around the Kentucky Motor Speedway… they do have their priorities, ya know.

  33. carlie says

    Anyone who owned that land would be paying property tax, even if the land was vacant. Except the ark group got a tax break not to pay it. So right now the state is missing the property tax that should be coming in from that piece of land, regardless of what’s happening on it.

  34. cleothemuse says

    Do they approve of liberals or Wiccans?

    Nope! In fact, a few months back, NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” was at the new 2,100-seat Center for the Arts in Richmond and made a joke that went along the lines of

    “Wow! Every liberal in the state of Kentucky must be in here tonight… The rest of the state is out front, chaining the building to their trucks so they can haul us all to Ohio.”

    As a liberal, bisexual atheist, well… I CLEARLY don’t belong here!

  35. imthegenieicandoanything says

    And yet Ken Ham-supporting creationist Xians would be surprised if, after confirming that they were proud of being stupid, ignorant, unAmerican, evil, bigoted asshats – in some detail – I spat in their uselss, bitter-yet-smug face.

    America, where the most evil of the old guard seekd to steal the scenery even as they burn down the theater out of pure spite.

  36. unclefrogy says

    I have not been to the area around the creation museum (man I hate writing that) nor am I ever likely to. If it needs that much improvements to handle the “projected ” visitor traffic it is likely to mostly 2 lane roads. If development goes like it does most places the highway improvements will facilitate real estate development locally. It would not surprise me if that is not the real long term plan in the first place the park is just a money making scam which will fail having been skimmed of all the money that they can and the investments of the good contributors will be lost and the insiders retain control of the property and sell it off at a large profit because of the now improved access.

    if the promoters themselves are not planing something like that you can bet that someone is watching for just that kind of opportunity.

    uncle frogy

  37. sadunlap says

    I’m still not seeing how this is pitted AGAINST the education budget for the state.

    There exists no direct link. The fact remains that at the same time that the state budget proposes to cut K-12 by $50 million it anticipates providing subsidies in the form of tax breaks to a religious theme park and highway improvements.

    Given the present political and economic climate, all government programs compete with each other for funding and tax breaks effectively reduce the funds for which all programs must compete. In other words, its not just the tax breaks that we see pitted against the education budget but everything pitted against each other. For some of us there need not exist a direct link between the cuts to education and the tax breaks planned for Ark Park to make the Kentucky budget odious. At the end of the day the Ark Park “wins” and K-12 education “loses.”

    A more important point that’s lost in the minutiae: We are watching only one example what’s called “The race for the bottom.” Individuals and states and communities must all compete against each other to see who can give businesses the most concessions in order to have even crappy jobs.

  38. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    Giving temporary tax breaks to encourage business development is a common practice. Discretionary reductions and tax increment financing temporarily reduce tax burdens in anticipation of future property value increases, which leads to increased future tax revenues. Road improvement districts are also common, though I don’t know if the Ark Park agreed to paying special assessments in the future to repay part of the cost or if the state was planning to make a gift of it for the sake of future revenues.

    I can’t get worked up over the tax break unless the Ark Park is getting special treatment that other businesses can’t. (It wouldn’t surprise me, and I’d have to wonder how that is legal.)

    One can argue, of course, about the timing — about whether the middle of a severe recession is the best time to be cutting short-term revenues to build a theme park, while also cutting expenditures on basic services like education. But that’s an international issue, not something specific to Kentucky.

  39. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    Well, the theme park part isn’t an international issue, of course. Though it sometimes feels like it, reading the news.

  40. hotshoe says

    If development goes like it does most places the highway improvements will facilitate real estate development locally. It would not surprise me if that is not the real long term plan in the first place the park is just a money making scam which will fail having been skimmed of all the money that they can and the investments of the good contributors will be lost and the insiders retain control of the property and sell it off at a large profit because of the now improved access.

    if the promoters themselves are not planing something like that you can bet that someone is watching for just that kind of opportunity.

    Nail. Head. Got it.

    Good christians wouldn’t be unscrupulous conmen, no sirree. Not piglet-raping Ken Ham, oh not him. He just wants to build the Ark for the glory of it. Ha ha.

    Wonder how much Ham promised the Kentucky governor personally … wonder which key Kentucky state legislators were given advance info by Ham as to which road frontage properties to buy while the cost was still low …

  41. Francisco Bacopa says

    Best thing I can say about Kentucky is that for a long time they marketed a highly successful product with few competitors through a patent agreement with Johnson & Johnson.

    You know, KY Jelly.

  42. unclefrogy says

    Best thing I can say about Kentucky is that for a long time they marketed a highly successful product with few competitors

    I was thinking of Bourbon whiskey

    uncle frogy

  43. Ichthyic says

    all government programs compete with each other for funding and tax breaks effectively reduce the funds for which all programs must compete.

    nope, you guys are still not getting it.

    it costs the state NOTHING to PROMISE tax breaks to a park that isn’t even built yet.

    not getting revenue from something IS NOT THE SAME as PAYING someone to do something.

    if Ham had decided NOT to build the ark park there, it still would have cost the state… nothing.

    is it getting any clearer yet?

    I think Froggy has a handle on what is likely the real story behind the ark park:

    develop the land with the excuse of there being a park that will never be built; sell the land for bucks, and walk away with the profits.

    It’s an old story, actually.

    makes perfect sense.

  44. Ichthyic says

    LOL i just realized the idea of bilking the taxpayers into improving highway access in order to make a bundle off of reselling the land is one of the main plots in this season’s Boardwalk Empire.

    like I said, that shit has been going on a LONG LONG time.

  45. salwinder says

    Why are state funds paying for and subsidising a religious project? Doesn’t this contravene the principles of separation of church and state? Maybe I should set up an FSM theme park there and demand tax breaks and state funding to build a road leading right up to the Bertand Russell water slide……..

  46. crissakentavr says

    Technically, if they never build the ark park, they’ll never use most of that tax credit.

    Still, all those deferments on property taxes is a huge chunk each year.

  47. crissakentavr says

    Umm, they’re totally not paying property taxes and business taxes and getting at least the highway improvements around their business paid for, Icthy. That’s totally money out of the coffers.

    If everyone has to pitch in a dollar and Joe doesn’t have to, that’s money not in the pot and might was well have been given back to Joe. In this case, Joe is also getting money straight out of the pool as well as not kicking any in that everyone else has to.

    Sorry, but you’re wrong, Icthy.

  48. briank says

    I know many of you hate Libertarians, but why do you trust the government to do the right thing?

  49. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I know many of you hate Libertarians, but why do you trust the government to do the right thing?

    We don’t. But we don’t have a pathological distrust of government like the liberturds. Our distrust is more with the private sector doing bad. The track record there is pitiful.

  50. julietdefarge says

    I continue to wring my hands about the animals that would be the prime attraction at this fiasco. It’s hard to imagine that the managers would actually hire any staff with degrees in zoology to be in charge. I hope nobody will sell them anything more exotic than goats and asses.

  51. Ichthyic says

    Doesn’t this contravene the principles of separation of church and state?

    I’m guessing here, but seems to me they could easily argue that it has secular value (tourist dollars coming into the state and/or that it is primarily an entertainment and not a religious venue).

    Has the ACLU or FFRF filed suit?

    I don’t think they have, and they certainly would relish the chance to, if there were a good case I would think.

    I might have missed it, but the most recent action the ACLU has taken in KY is this one:

    http://www.au.org/our-work/legal/lawsuits/mccreary-county-v-aclu-of-kentucky

    the ark park obviously IS sectarian, but presented as an amusement park deliberately to narrowly present a way of avoiding the Lemon test.

  52. Ichthyic says

    I know many of you hate Libertarians, but why do you trust the government to do the right thing?

    I know many self-claimed libertarians are ignorant asses, but why do they always insist on presenting false dichotomies?

  53. Ichthyic says

    Umm, they’re totally not paying property taxes and business taxes and getting at least the highway improvements around their business paid for, Icthy. That’s totally money out of the coffers.

    ok, now you’re just being obtuse.

    the ark park DOES NOT EXIST.

    IT DOES NOT PROVIDE ANY REVENUE.

    IT IS NOT COSTING THE STATE MONEY.

    Try this:

    Say I own a bank, and offer you an pass on interest on a loan for the first 3 years, as a way of competing with other banks for your business.

    I haven’t PAID you any money to get your loan. It hasn’t cost me, as the bank, ANYTHING to get you to take that loan from my bank.

    you cannot take potential FUTURE proceeds as marks AGAINST current revenues.

    the state is NOT paying money for the ark park to be built by giving them a pass on taxes for a temporary period, if they decide to build the park.

    if Ham didn’t build the park there, the state would be in exactly the SAME position.

    for fucks sake, why is it so hard for you people to get this?

  54. cp3o says

    We rightly get upset about xtians using misleading language/cherry picking/creating strawmen etc. but this is the second time in a couple of days that the xtians have been handed a “you’re no better than us” on a plate.

    Perhaps a little more thought and a little less freedom from the truth would better suit the freethought agenda?

  55. Ichthyic says

    this is the second time in a couple of days that the xtians have been handed a “you’re no better than us” on a plate.

    actually, no.

    unlike the xians nutters, the idea that tax money IS being spent on this is NOT a fabrication.

    there is, in fact, 11 million dollars being spent to improve the local highways, with the ark park as the putative excuse.

    my point is that that is where the focus should be; tax breaks that aren’t actually drawing on any current revenue are not worth focusing on.

    what’s more, I’m convinced now that this whole thing is nothing more than a good-old-boy backroom deal to increase the sale value of the land involved via the highway improvements, and the only way they could sell that to the public was by this song and dance about the value of the Ark Park to Kentucky’s future economy.

    would someone who lives there try and find out who CURRENTLY owns the land nearby the areas where the highway improvements are planned?

  56. Wren, a Tru Hoppist says

    My research skills are probably crap, but I know a couple of folks who live out that way. I can try to find out.

    I think it depends on which interstate exit the park is going to be off of:
    If it’s 154, that’s mostly residential/small towns and camping.
    If it’s 156, I believe there is a veteran’s cemetery and memorial.

  57. Wren, a Tru Hoppist says

    Hrm…I can’t find anything about “interstate 15″ so I guess that’s a typo and they mean I75.

    As far as I can tell, the ark park plans to be on 800 acres in Grant county (Williamstown, KY) and 100 of those acres (or an extra 100 acres) are being sold at a reduced price to the park by the Grant county economic development committee. The only thing I see about land is that it is “unoccupied.”

    Ark Park youtube video. The relevant part is 6 minutes in.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68o3kJ8dmeY&feature=player_embedded#!

    LEX18 news article
    http://www.lex18.com/news/noah-s-ark-project-gets-property-tax-break

    Mayor Rick Skinner told the Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/qzwpyV ) the reduced property taxes will generate far more revenue than unoccupied land. The project is expected to break ground in the next few months.

    Lexington Herald Leader article on the Ark Park
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/08/09/120015/noahs-ark-theme-park-gets-property.html

    The tax deal is in addition to almost $200,000 given to the company by Grant County’s economic development arm as an enticement to keep the project located there, along with 100 acres of reduced-price land.

    MSNBC article on the Ark Park
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40460324/ns/us_news-life/t/northern-kentucky-lands-noahs-ark-park/#.Txt_im_OyrY

    Site selection is not decided, he said, but the organizers have options on 800 acres in Grant County off Interstate 15, about 40 miles from the Creation Museum, which is outside Cincinnati, Ohio. The Ark Encounter website says the park will go in the Grant County site.

    Grant County gov. website
    http://grantcounty.ky.gov/Ark+Project.htm

    The Ark Encounter is awaiting the Economic Incentive Study being performed by the State of Kentucky. Property can not be purchased until its completion.

    Seems to me whoever owns this land (some of it has to be the state), AIG and the Ark Park people are keeping it hush hush.

  58. craigore says

    Now if only we could pool some money together to have Ken Ham and Gov. Beshear marooned on a small deserted island in the South Seas. I believe we could call such a campaign “making America great again.”

  59. Ichthyic says

    I think it depends on which interstate exit the park is going to be off of:

    well, instead of where the park is supposedly going to be built, I would look at exactly which improvements are being tagged in that 11 million in the budget, and then scope out who owns areas that would be affected by that.

    It would NOT surprise me in the slightest if legislators pushing for this own interests in that land, directly or indirectly.

    also check for proposed real estate developments.

    Yeah, I know, probably more trouble than it’s worth, but if you have access to the planning records, that info should be in there.

  60. Wren, a Tru Hoppist says

    Snap, I had a huge post here about what I found last night, but it’s gone. I guess (since I don’t post much, I don’t know) I can’t have all those links…

    Basically, the video press conference said it would be off of exit 154, which I have taken before. There isn’t really much there.

    There is 800 acres they want to build on, and at least 100 acres are “price reduced” by the Grant County economic development board (GCEDB). There is a tax break on the property taxes in addition to $200k given to the ark encounter as incentive to go there, and the GCEDB said that the reduced property tax (reduced by 75%) is still better than the land being “unoccupied.” Seems like some of this land belonged to the state or the county, the rest probably belongs to a farmer who doesn’t raise cattle (due to the low amount of flat land in KY, livestock is usually put on the mountains).