More tax breaks for the Ark Park?

Why? This makes no sense. Ken Ham is putting up a for-profit theme park, has already got big sales tax breaks from the state of Kentucky, and now we learn that he’s also getting a major break on property taxes.

The property tax agreement means the Ark Encounter would pay 25 percent of the local taxes due on 800 acres of property where the $150 million theme park will be built. Mayor Rick Skinner says the reduced property taxes will generate far more revenue than unoccupied land.

Well, with that logic, we all ought to get tax cuts on our homes to just slightly more than the valuation of an undeveloped lot.

Besides, we’ve been hearing all these glorious promises from Answers in Genesis about how they’re going to be raking in big bucks and getting amazing attendance and creating all these wonderful jobs for Kentucky — but at the same time they go begging for special privileges like a bunch of desperate paupers.

Christians. Yeah, they believe in that poverty crap, all right.

(Also on Sb)


  1. says

    Imagine Kentucky falling behind in the fight to be the slack-jawed moron of the nation, and you can understand the importance of such incentives.

    Nothing really odd about for-profits angling for tax breaks. Only one would assume that these would be for industries that improve the state, rather than advertising its simple-minded anti-science ignorance.

    Imagine an industry heavily dependent upon science wondering in which state it should put its labs and its offices. Gee, the state that fought and paid to host Ken Ham’s idiocy is going to be high on the list, isn’t it?

    But can you really have a monopoly on stupidity, Kentucky? If not, advertising your ignorance and willingness to wallow in stupidity might not pay overall.

    Glen Davidson

  2. says

    What’s funny to me is how much of the state’s economy and reputation relies on bourbon. Does the Maker’s Mark and Wild Turkey folks get these kinds of deals?

  3. 4ndyman says

    Don’t take this too far overboard. The state has to look at this from an economic standpoint, not a religious one. This is right and good. From an economic standpoint, a theme park like this (no matter how ill-conceived or idiotic) will create tax revenue from both the land itself and from the tourism it attracts AND will create jobs in the area.

    The state should never ever ever ever make a decision based on whether or not it (being the people in whatever committee makes the decision) agrees with the religious stance of the requesting party.

    Whenever I read something like this, I just remind myself that bastions of scientific truth get tons of tax money — like libraries, the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry, and local zoos.

  4. Mr Ed says

    Imagine an industry heavily dependent upon science wondering in which state it should put its labs and its offices.

    When ever I look at job postings I ask myself, do I want my kids educated there? When Kansas opted out of evolution Boeing was hiring but I didn’t fell like spending my nights explaining why one particular creation myth was equivalent to a scientific theory.

  5. Preston says

    Well, I’m sure the Toyota plant got a tax break or two also. If this were actually a park instead of a ministry pretending to be a park these kinds of concessions would be expected.

    The problem with the Ark Encounter is that it will probably all end in tears. AiG is going to require a statement of faith as is their way. AiG says they’re a ministry and the Civil Rights Act allows them to discriminate on the basis of religion. This will get Ark Encounters sued and Ark Encounters will eventually lose.

    Of the 900 promised jobs for the people of Kentucky, they’ll see full employment for a few dozen lawyers and a pizza deliveryman. Oh, and lots of tax money which is already in short supply will be wasted.

  6. cuttlefish says

    I think the plan is, they’re gonna get back all that money and more when the park pays for the water it uses to flood the world.

  7. Freerefill says

    That’s pretty much the nail on the head, Preston.

    It sounds great on paper, but just like that Dinosaur World, it’s built to attract a shrinking populace. And it will, without a shred of doubt, but subject to criticism and controversy from all sides. Not that criticism and controversy is necessarily bad, but when people are hearing more about it than the park itself, they’ll wonder if they should bother.

    There will be a trickle of creationists flowing in and out, but eventually that will stop, and in a few years, the park will be an empty, decaying wasteland, and a reminder that a government should be very careful with how it spends its money.

  8. says

    Some day, the whole enterprise will go bankrupt. When it does, the two places: the “Creation Museum” and the “Ark Encounter” will stand deserted, crumbling into eerie decay.

    That is why we should enjoy the construction of the “Ark Encounter.” Not only will it cost lots of money, thus hastening AIG’s march toward bankruptcy, but it will also make a supercool ghost town.

  9. Randomfactor says

    My money’s still on “never gonna open.” Like Trump, they’ll beat the burning bushes for uneducated investors who’ll eventually be told that the Agents of Satan kept them from opening the park, and no, the money’s not refundable.

  10. Carlie says

    Yep. And then not only will it be an eyesore and a health and safety hazard once it becomes an abandoned amusement park, it will be many times more difficult and expensive to make the land usable for anyone else.

  11. Kamrom says

    This behavior is atrocious. Its not just there either. We were SUPPOSED to get new libraries built. But then “didnt have the money :(” but somehow the college got its new bigger stadium..feh.

    Seriously though this kinda stuff is nonstop around kentucky. We have these obnoxious liscense plates… Yes is real. And yes people have it.

    If you want see just how obnoxious I mean, feel free to search for “Pro-Choice License Plate.”

    Here, ill do it just incase:

    Dont see any? Well thats no surprise there arent any. Im so glad that the rightwing will happily cheer on what they claim to be american values, then happily cheer on a government forcing others to behave according to their rules. All anti-choice legislation is a religious violation of supreme court decree.

    But you wouldnt know it by asking anyone in charge. Ha, in charge…In charge of a state where we only had 50 weeks of power, which refuses to pay to bury the lines so people stop dying in the cold. They’re happy to charge us more for fixing them when they collapse.

    Oh and this is thanks to republicans, as Bush let foreign power companies deliver electricity. The people responsible for this state’s power are in germany.

  12. keepscienceintexas says

    When ever I hear people speak of their loving God I am always reminded of these words: Mari, a 3 year-old leukaemia patient, stands next to her IV drip at the corridor of the onco-hematology department.

  13. Pierce R. Butler says

    Carlie @ # 11: … not only will it be an eyesore and a health and safety hazard once it becomes an abandoned amusement park…

    If built according to Ken Ham’s promises, it will achieve that status long before abandonment.

    Consider: a 100% wooden structure, 500 feet long and 50 feet high, coated inside and out with pitch, having one door and one window, to be entered by groups of children, elderly, etc. The construction of anything of the sort would prove that Kentucky’s building codes and inspectors could not be trusted to manage a pup tent, to the point where the state’s population and visitors need to move out of doors immediately and indefinitely pending the demolition and reconstruction of every structure in the state.

  14. unbound says

    Remember, for Xtians, do as they say, not as they do is the rule.

    @4ndyman – Give them the tax break or what? The whole point in offering tax breaks is to create an incentive to attract business. Where else are these wackos going to go? They already got the approval, and they already got other tax breaks. This is definitely not an appropriate use of tax breaks. This has all the smells of a backroom deal.

  15. carlie says

    Hee. From Melissa McEwan (Shakesville):

    I believe if I asked for a 75% property tax break from the city of Williamstown to build Darwin’s Fart, an atheist amusement park, we would quickly discover that this is, in fact, very different indeed from other for-profit tourist attractions looking to locate themselves in this particular community.

  16. llewelly says

    unbound | 10 August 2011 at 6:10 pm :

    Where else are these wackos going to go?

    Look, if they don’t that tax break, they’ll leave! As soon as the Ark is finished, they can sail, er, row, anywhere they want!

  17. Mike de Fleuriot says

    Has anyone put together a comprehensive business plan to build a Darwin’s Fort? And tried to get funding for it. Sure there are many here who would say that there is no chance of getting funding, but lets see your data. Extraordinary require extraordinary…

    If atheism/anti-woo folk are really serious about taking on AIG and Kentucky, maybe they should make Williamstown a nexus for atheist conventions. Bring atheist business and conferences to the area, run a Camp Quest there once a year, and things like this. Create a presence in the town, make it your own, blunt AIG, teach the controversy, explaining why the flood and Noah’s ark is incorrect is very easy. Make this a worthwhile thing for the town business to embrace, you can be christian to a point, but you have to eat. Atheist money also has Under God on it, and is legal tender.

  18. says

    I am sort of sad that I live so close to Kentucky.
    That Star Trek theme park in Jordan should get tax breaks. I don’t care if it’s a different country!

  19. nemo the derv says

    They’re getting state taxes and not federal right?
    I think Kentucky is following Lewis Black’s “Big Fucking Thing” theory of economics.
    I say we build Cthulu’s derigible and release the seagulls of “white and green blessings” over the park.

  20. dean the bean says

    A fellow named Raymond from over at Beck’s Blaze has posted a rebuttal at the SB site on the Ark post.

    For a believer he actually makes some fairly cogent arguments, even if they are often incorrect.

  21. Sili says

    I didn’t realise the piglet rapist was job-creating enough to qualify for tax-breaks for job-creators.

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