The price? $10! The buyer? Well, it’s … Ken Ham. That’s right, Ken Ham sold his theme park to himself for a sawbuck. You will not be surprised when you learn that this pointless shuffle was done for the purpose of scamming the government out of taxes, so it wasn’t pointless at all. It’s all part of a long con.
On June 29, Williamstown city attorney Jeffrey Shipp sent a letter to the biblical amusement park Ark Encounter, rejecting its request to be exempted from a new safety tax because its is a religious organization.
Shipp said it was clear that Ark Encounter is a for-profit entity, which is how it has been listed with the Kentucky secretary of state’s office since 2011.
But the day before, Ark Encounter LLC sold its main parcel of land — the one with the large-scale Noah’s Ark — for $10 to its nonprofit affiliate, Crosswater Canyon.
Remember way back when Answers in Genesis was begging for all this support from Kentucky, claiming it wouldn’t be an endorsement of religion, because it was going to be an economic boon to secular businesses in the region? It should be treated as an amusement park, not a church. So they got their breaks and the state improvements in access roads, etc., but now that’s not enough — so they’ve flipped it back to the control of their religious non-profit side, because they’re irate about a tax that would pay for fire and emergency services to their park.
The tax would have been about fifty cents on each grossly over-priced $40 ticket. They simply refuse to pay that pittance.
And that makes we wonder how solid AiG’s finances are. They seem awfully desperate to avoid losing that 1.25% of the ticket price to essential services. It’s only the beginning, too.
That’s the latest salvo in an escalating dispute between local officials and Ark Encounter, but some people are worried that Ark Encounter’s maneuver is a precursor to declaring itself exempt from all taxes, including property taxes that help finance Grant County schools.
“I believe this is the first step,” Williamstown city councilman Kim Crupper said. “The impact would be far larger than just Williamstown.”
It’ll happen, and Williamstown and the state of Kentucky will get the screwing they deserve for propping up this shambles. Everyone who has been following Ham knows what to expect.
He got his start working with Carl Wieland of Creation Ministries International, was sent off to manage the American branch of that organization, and then absconded with their mailing list and split off to start his own circus. There was much acrimony and howling and furious lawsuits between the two. And don’t forget the time Ham was kicked out of a homeschooling conference over his nasty and intolerant behavior.
The one thing you can rely on is his greed. If you just look for the choice that will line his pocket the most, you can predict Ken Ham’s behavior perfectly.
Williamstown is so screwed.
Hey, how about if we end that religious tax exemption everywhere and for everyone?