Ken Ham’s Big Wooden Box has been sold!


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?

Comments

  1. johnson catman says

    If the park doesn’t want to pay the tax to support fire and emergency services to the park, maybe the county should refuse to extend it to the non-paying entity.

  2. rietpluim says

    Whatever happened to giving Caesar what is Caesar’s?

    Oh right. Never expect a Christian to live up to his own standards.

  3. Larry says

    Doesn’t that describe every church?

    I’d describe them as bemusement parks.

  4. Larry says

    How will these to fine institutions who deserve each other resolve this? I don’t know but the suspense is killing me. I hope it lasts.

  5. davidc1 says

    There was much acrimony and howling and furious lawsuits between the two.
    Was there gnashing of teeth ,as per the bible ?.
    Anyway he knows that if the big wooden box sets afire the big sky daddy will make it rain and put it out.

  6. kantalope says

    I’m tax free, I’m not tax free, I’m tax free. You can’t tie me down, you can’t or you can tax me. I’m consistently inconsistent, I’m bobbing and weaving…I’m just what I need to be and nothing more or less.

  7. flex says

    It won’t help. The taxes will be on the assessed value, and while sale price is usually an indicator for calculating property tax there are exceptions if the sale price is obviously out-of-whack.

    The municipality will simply use their own assessment value and the board of appeals will reject the appeal to lower the property tax based on the recent sales value.

    If Ham decides to not pay the taxes on the assessed value, there will be liens placed on the property and eventually the municipality will take him to court. With such a transparent attempt to avoid taxes, they might take him to court sooner than they would with a business which was really trying to work with the municipality.

    It will take years, but this is a really, really, foolish thing for Ham to do.

  8. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    sounds like a “loophole” (without going into the story more than superficially).
    My initial reaction is that selling it for $10, he can “write it off” as a huge loss on his tax form. IE After investing millions, it returned only $10, so the net is a big negative number.
    The additional loophole is not requiring specification of who bought it, that it lacks a requirement for the buyer to be an independent 2nd party, not affiliated with the seller.

    Then again, [*burp*] this is all cartoon “financialism”. Blame ~45 for encouraging us to all live a “comic-book” lifestyle.
    Ham makes it ideal to think that was.. *burp*
    ?

  9. tbp1 says

    If only there had been lots of people telling the local officials over and over again that the project was not sustainable in the long haul, that the people running it were crooks, and that the county and state would never see more than a tiny fraction of the promised benefits and then would be left holding the bag.

    Oh, wait…

  10. doubter says

    I hope someone buys it at the inevitable tax sale, then only ever uses it to host gigantic gay raves.

  11. kupo says

    I don’t understand. When I bought a relative’s car for slightly under blue book value I had to show I wasn’t just putting a lower price on the form to scam taxes by explaining the relationship to the seller.

  12. timberwoof says

    I wasn’t anywhere near the place when God decided it was an abomination, struck it with lightning, and burned it to the ground.
    I’m having a hard time working up sympathy for the governments involved. They allowed themselves to get scammed.

  13. ctech says

    First, it is a good report by PZ but again he gets a little caught up with news like this. At least the report starts off with a link to provide a good basis for the story from the seemingly official state site kentucky.com. However, the issue seems to be about the implementation of a safety tax. There are several reasons why a new tax could be unfair and so I tend to give the response of AiG some credit because the quotes directly reflect that concern. Also, it is fallible to assume that any increase in tax to be taken out of sales can easily be handled without any ill effects. We ultimately don’t know all of their operating expenses. We can guess and make comments like there is no one working the Ark to answer questions so their expenses are low but without a PnL we are just stating some BS that we think is logical. I am just saying there are a lot of businesses where adding over 1% to a product will kill it. I am more concerned with exactly what this tax is. Why is essential services not already taxed? The article makes no mention that other businesses have had no problem with the new safety tax and to me implied this was a specific tax for the Ark to pay for its essential government services. I think everyone on the left immediately likes to spin these stories to paint someones character in a bad light without first getting all the information. Probably, we will never get all the details so the story will remain perpetual. There is obviously also several ways to view the tax dodging as Trump would say and a lot of CEOs agree that it is just good business. There is clearly a reason every multi-millionaire has a charity but Christians are just supposed to bend over and take it while everyone else can do what is in the best interest of the company to keep costs down. Either way, I am just saying I am not jumping to judgment especially if I can’t find where this tax is levied to more businesses. So, the Dean of UMN life sciences sends you a memo saying that fisheries will have a year-end water tax to help with providing essential clean water based on the number of zebrafish. Yet, everyone in every college at the university will have access to this clean water. It is likely every business is being hit with it but I just don’t know based on the story and I really don’t care enough to do my own investigation. The same goes with the last two links about CMI vs AiG and Ken Ham and homeschooling. Those are links to articles that actually re-reference PZ on one of them. Their report is then essentially just a report of a report that never gives any concrete details or even directly quotes Ken Ham. So, the author of the article is going to report an entire event mainly about “what” someone said but never tell you the quote that got them in trouble. You could say it is irrelevant and that the convention had problems with it so that is all you need to know but it does come across a little like hide the football not to mention just circular reporting. Again, I don’t have the time, desire, or responsibility to corroborate your story. I would have the responsibility to do so if I am to 100% believe it and re-blog it. Rules and ethics just don’t apply to everyone. Ain’t that the truth! I totally agree.

  14. says

    ctech: Paragraphs. They’re a thing nowadays.

    Also…content that makes sense would be helpful. Don’t comment while drunk.

  15. Chancellor says

    Ken would be doing the right thing, I mean Jesus is a big fan of loopholes, he even ended his life on one. The great Ken would only be following in his father’s footsteps, “live like god” as they say.

  16. kestrel says

    Yeah… see, dodging out of taxes like that is pretty horrible. That county has a new demand for emergency services (ambulance, fire and police) because of this thing, and then for them to refuse to help out to pay the bills for the demand they are creating is just wrong. Does the Ark Park want the ambulance to have to completely cover the costs to respond to a call there? Ambulance services in that county are most likely pretty sparse. Where is that money going to come from if not taxes?

    This is the thing: the whole reason for civilization is for human beings to band together and help each other out. It seems like both christians and republicans don’t get that simple concept. The way it should work is if you can’t afford to run a safe business, you should not be in business… the state should shut them down. People who go there have a reasonable expectation that if they have a heart attack, there will be an ambulance to come pick them up, or if there is a fire, a fire department will respond and put the fire out and that both of these things will occur fairly rapidly. If the Ark Park can’t afford that, they should not be in business at all.

  17. says

    “this will be sale will end up being” Ugh. I meant:
    […]this sale will end up being[…]

    If Ark Encounter LLC declares bankruptcy any time in the next 2 years, the courts will look at this as an act to avoid debt collection by transferring assets to another person or company at well below fair market value. It doesn’t even matter if that is the intent of this action or not.

    From Wikipedia:

    There are two kinds of fraudulent transfer. The archetypal example is the intentional fraudulent transfer. This is a transfer of property made by a debtor with intent to defraud, hinder, or delay his or her creditors.[13] The second is a constructive fraudulent transfer. Generally, this occurs when a debtor transfers property without receiving “reasonably equivalent value” in exchange for the transfer if the debtor is insolvent[14] at the time of the transfer or becomes insolvent or is left with unreasonably small capital to continue in business as a result of the transfer.[15] Unlike the intentional fraudulent transfer, no intention to defraud is necessary.

  18. says

    I wonder if he checked that with an accountant or not. Because it sounds like he just bought something for $10 that he’s going to value at millions, which sets him up for alternative minimum taxes on the asset appreciation. I.e: if I buy $10,000,000 for $10, I just made $9,999,990 and there’s a substantial tax liability that comes with that ($4,000,000 or so!) that problem used to bite the hell out of people in the dotcom boom when they exercised their stock options and discovered they were on the hook for a fortune against illiquid assets.

    There is probably some way of scamming around it, now, though. Especially with a real estate speculator peculator president. I do hope someone at the IRS and the state take a close look at AIG’s returns.

  19. whheydt says

    Re; Marcus Ranum @ #19…
    He “sold” the property to a “religious” 501(c)3 so I doubt that organization would be subject to AMT.

    While I am dubious about the sale being legal (it sure smells like a tax dodge), I suspect that the next counter from Williamstown will be to point out that the fee attached to tickets applies to the for-profit *business*, not the property. What I would hope would happen would be that, if the Ark business is somehow converted to a non-profit *religious* business, that the state, county and city would claw back all of the tax incentives that were granted in the ostensible case that it was a for profit business. At the very least, any tax consessions should end the instant such a conversion takes place.

  20. ctech says

    PZ: I realize that may seem like a lot to read and I didn’t know we were critiquing composition. I doubt you would really want to “go there” as I have been reading your blog for several weeks now and I would recommend that you don’t go there, but I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt such as we never know the device being used that makes composition difficult. Also, I didn’t realize the comment section was so formal. I’ll make the appropriate corrections in future comments.

    I am more concerned that you say my post did not make sense. What part was confusing for you? Perhaps the part where you lambasted someone without knowing all the facts. I would actually love for you to explain to me a situation where someone has gotten a new tax and said, “hot dog!” except for when Ken Ham takes measures to get around a tax it is suddenly taboo. There is actually a conservative joke that everyone is a liberal until they make a million dollars and taxes come due. I was further stating that the real question is why are essential services not adequately funded already!? Another take from the story is that it is another liberal handout that was denied and so the liberals turn it around to criticize a person’s character. It is the same as if you are in the checkout line at Dairy Queen and the cashier asks if you would like to donate to Children’s Hospital and they will write your name on a little balloon and hang on the wall. You say, “No” and they say, “What!? You want children to suffer in hospitals and not get better!”. I think something similar is going on and at Dairy Queen I would say I already give to Children’s Hospital. The municipality should already essential services to that area before anything was put there, not just an Ark. They shouldn’t put a Dominos (or Dairy Queen ) in a location that needs to be subsidized supplementally.

  21. Rich Woods says

    It’s good to know that the property and buildings are worth just $10. If Ham decides to burn his ark down, the insurance company can just hand him the compensation value out of petty cash and walk away.

  22. KG says

    I would actually love for you to explain to me a situation where someone has gotten a new tax and said, “hot dog!” except for when Ken Ham takes measures to get around a tax it is suddenly taboo. – ctech@22

    It’s really very simple, numpty. Ham declared, in order to get money from Kentucky, that his Big Wooden Box was a for-profit venture. He got that money. Now, when it’s a matter of paying taxes, suddenly it’s a purely religious project. Either he was lying the first time, or he’s lying now.

    I would actually love for you to explain to me a situation where someone has gotten a new tax and said, “hot dog!”

    No one is asking him to be pleased about it, numpty – just to pay the tax due, like most people have to.

    Another take from the story is that it is another liberal handout that was denied

    WTF are you on about, numpty? Kentucky’s governor is a Republican, the state senate and house of representatives are both controlled by the Republicans. Who the fuck is supposed to be giving a “libreral handout” to whom?

  23. KG says

    I would actually love for you to explain to me a situation where someone has gotten a new tax and said, “hot dog!” except for when Ken Ham takes measures to get around a tax it is suddenly taboo. – ctech@22

    It’s really very simple, numpty. Ham declared, in order to get money from Kentucky, that his Big Wooden Box was a for-profit venture. He got that money. Now, when it’s a matter of paying taxes, suddenly it’s a purely religious project. Either he was lying the first time, or he’s lying now.

    I would actually love for you to explain to me a situation where someone has gotten a new tax and said, “hot dog!”

    No one is asking him to be pleased about it, numpty – just to pay the tax due, like most people have to.

    Another take from the story is that it is another liberal handout that was denied

    WTF are you on about, numpty? Kentucky’s governor is a Republican, the state senate and house of representatives are both controlled by the Republicans. Who the fuck is supposed to be giving a “liberal handout” to whom?

  24. says

    Ctech @22

    I was further stating that the real question is why are essential services not adequately funded already!?

    Possibly, because the local tax base has been insufficient to pay for said services. There are vast swaths of this country that do not have those services. I know, I’m from such an area in Texas. The county has 1 sheriff and 2 deputies. No official fire or ambulance. A few parts has a volunteer fire dept made up of mostly old men.

    So there’s that.

    :p

  25. ctech says

    It is easy to clear up, but I have already stated the lack of information in the report. Just elaborate on the safety tax. However, if the safety tax is not fairly applied across all businesses then it is similar to a handout as it is an additional subsidized tax because there are already budgets for fire and police. I can’t find the first thing on the safety tax in Kentucky. The article linked appears to be the only thing mentioning or using the words safety tax. I am not saying there is not one. I am saying that I just can’t find a ton of information on it. So, I am just not going to criticize someone about getting around a new tax that I know nothing about except that it is supposed to pay for something that should already be being paid for. I think I would be horribly against any new tax for fire and police especially if it is directed at me or just a handful of people to even split the bill.

    However, surely you attempt to pay as little tax every April. Paying tax due like most people do may be the case on your home planet. That is just not what happens here. It is not a liberal or conservative thing. It is more of a money thing. You file a 1040EZ then you are probably paying your proper minus that cash under the table that you should report but don’t.

    I am simply trying to clear up some misunderstandings of how government works for some of you as one comment on this indicates the safety tax is for fire, police, and ambulance. Another comment even discussed the necessity of having ambulance should you need one while visiting the Ark. I’m not sure if you’ve ever needed an ambulance but it is rare that it is a public service. Typically, people get a pretty good sized bill after a ride in the back. A safety tax is not going to fix that unless it says so which it would be a good time to invest in the local ambulance service in KY. Again, we just don’t know anything about this safety tax.

  26. Vivec says

    As a fairly high-income american, I think we pay way too little in taxes and would gladly increase the amount I paid if it helped to fund social services and programs.

    I guess this isn’t technically a specific example of me seeing a new tax and going “Hot Dog!”, but I do like taxes and think there should be more placed on people like me and my family.

  27. rietpluim says

    Either he was lying the first time, or he’s lying now.

    Defying all logic, someone like Ham is capable of lying both times.

  28. consciousness razor says

    I realize that may seem like a lot to read and I didn’t know we were critiquing composition.

    That can happen any time you compose something. PZ wasn’t asking for much: break it into paragraphs. If you have an idea, it can go into a paragraph, with another idea in a different paragraph, not structured as if it all just flew out of a blender and landed in some random place, which makes it hard for others to understand. You wrote it so that others could do that, right?

    I was further stating that the real question is why are essential services not adequately funded already!?

    I don’t know if you actually care about the answer, but that is a question. Maybe you should ask yourself what “adequate funding” is first, and what exactly you think the phrase “essential services” is supposed to convey.

    1) There’s a town, with some population, some number of businesses, various sorts of public infrastructure, and so forth. It may or may not have been receiving adequate funding for those services in that town. Let’s suppose it was.
    2) There could nevertheless be some need to increase the amount of funding, even if nothing about the town changes. There’s no reason to think it must be a static thing, that this number cannot change. That can happen for a variety of reasons, like inflation/deflation, changing costs of goods/services the town itself does not produce, changes to pensions and insurance for employees, and so forth.
    3) Something about the town did change. A big dumb Ark Park is now there. It needs those to use those services, just like everyone else.
    4) However, the town made a sweetheart deal with them that as a profit-making business it would get tax relief. Stop right there and try to wrap your head around that. I’ve made profits, and I don’t get that kind of a deal. Why would I? In general, nobody does, unless the person’s last name is “Corporation.”
    5) But the basic idea is that the conservatives running everything wrongly expected (or at least it’s what they say, whether or not they believe it) that doing this would bring lots of money to the people of that town (not the owners of the business), which would reimburse the public for all of the costs it pays associated with serving that business (think fire, police, ambulances, transportation maintenance crews, and many other things).
    6) Everybody else just pays taxes, and we don’t just hope that the money will somehow appear to pay for all of the things we need, because of magical forces.

    Now, you’re still surprised that somehow they don’t have enough money for everything? And we liberals are supposed to take the blame for shoving things like police forces down your throats? And this is somehow like putting your spare change into a charity bucket at the convenience store? (Except that you don’t do that and only say some magic words to them.) If you just fell off the conservative turnip truck, I will give you a break. But think about what you’re saying, and try to help me understand why a single part of it is true or even could make some kind of sense.

  29. consciousness razor says

    So, I am just not going to criticize someone about getting around a new tax

    Why not? Not paying taxes is illegal.

    that I know nothing about except that it is supposed to pay for something that should already be being paid for.

    Well, fuck, I’m pretty sure all of my taxes are like that. I still pay them. I prefer that (and try to make it better if I can) compared to living in whatever post-apocalyptic anti-civilization that you seem to prefer. I’ve seen Mad Max — not impressed.

  30. ctech says

    @YOB – I agree but those are mostly small rural county areas. There is such a place where I live. There is a bar and gas station that is actually still full-service. There’s a junction where a few people have died in accidents on the country roads. Any fire or ambulance would be easy 20 minutes speeding. However, we don’t bust up in the bar or tell the guy while he is pumping our gas that we are looking at implementing an additional business tax to help pay for fire and police. It would go over about as well as a led zepplin. Either way, the city or township should already know their capacity and this should have been covered even before initial negotiations. I would have notified them that their business can be built but I would already know that an additional safety tax would need to implemented and I would have went ahead and put them on notice. Do you find it odd that over a year later the town just now realizes those services are inadequate?

    Also, see my previous post to KG about ambulance service.

  31. raven says

    1. No doubt, the Big Wooden Box Park requires some emergency services such as ambulance, fire, and police.
    2. Which they just refused to pay for through a tax.
    So the local residents will end up paying for Ark Park’s emergency services.

    3. This is parasitism at best and more like Theft of Services.
    It’s all very xian, conpeople leaders stealing money from other xians.

  32. raven says

    Ctech the idiot:
    However, we don’t bust up in the bar or tell the guy while he is pumping our gas that we are looking at implementing an additional business tax to help pay for fire and police.

    Extremely stupid. Or you are just flat out lying.
    Fallacy of false equivalence.

    1. You are comparing a bar or a service station with the Ark Park.
    The Ark Park is far larger and has a huge impact on the rural, poor, low population county it is located in.
    They are claiming 400,000 visitors and projecting 1 million or so.
    If that bar had 400,000 visitors, the county might well ask that they pay for increased services.

    2. And how dumb can you get?
    The bar and service station are already paying property, business, and perhaps sales taxes.
    They are already paying the county for emergency services!!!

    PS The real equivalence would be if the bar sold itself to the Southern Fried Baptist Church it just created for $10, and then refused to pay any taxes to anyone.

  33. ctech says

    @consciousness razor: yes, thank you for that description of paragraphs. Can you indent your bullets for me?

    All the points you mention for increasing the funding should already be known. If a new beat needs to be created, which would increase payroll, to cover new zoning then they should have known that before they broke ground and if something unexpected happens then typically you look at non-essential programs first to cut instead of introducing new taxes to pay for essentials. Again, ambulances typically are not public services. If they are funding ambulances then they should look at cutting that to pay for fire and police.

    Yes, everything needs to use those services so everyone should get hit with a safety tax. I have asked that and indicated that is a major factor swaying my feelings about this story. I even said I would think this is implemented to all residences and businesses but I just don’t know. Fire and Police are vital to tourism. AiG would know this so their response to me seemed appropriate that they just want what’s fair in implementing the tax. AiG could obviously be squeezed into paying whatever with reduced fire and police protection because attendance would greatly drop as soon as it was deemed dangerous to visit. This is similar to many universities maintaining higher standard police because as soon as a story hits that the campus is not safe then children start getting yanked out of school. So, I don’t see AiG just not paying due tax which you guys keep spinning as well. Yes, not paying taxes is illegal. That would be quite clear. Ken and Co. seem to be setting it up to get around or reduce their tax requirement. That is not illegal and as I said most people do that once a year at least.

  34. unclefrogy says

    I simply do not understand the conservative attitude to taxes. I it is my money why should the government take it by force, I should find every way possible to avoid paying any tax at all. The conservative attitude goes on to say that government cost is too big there must be a radical reduction in the budget by reducing services. The attitude goes on to include all other expenditures, pay as little as possible (no minimum wage) but then at the same time charge all that the “market” will bare for anything they provide.
    How is that supposed to work out if everyone adopted that?
    “Government is not the solution government is the problem”
    we are the government, as all governments only govern by the consent of the governed, it does not matter if that consent is voluntary or induced by force.
    so we are the problem and we are in this all together. How is it supposed to work when it is everyone for themselves? The “market” and the stability of society and the Law and order it depends on, the infrastructure it exist within is dependent on us the population (we are the government) and that stability and our cooperation.
    Ken Ham is a crook nothing more or less. I have my doubts that he actually believes in any of his spiel at all.
    uncle frogy

  35. says

    I’m not a finance or real estate expert, but I’m not so sure this is such a good move by Ham. The financing was set up to protect Crosswater Canyon from financial liability for the project. As originally setup, Ark Encounter LLC is solely responsible for the bond debt issued to finance the project.

    The bonds issued for the project are secured by the revenues and assets of the Ark Encounter project (including all the real estate property and buildings, etc), which is all under mortgage to cover the bonds.

    Here are the long, gritty details on the bond issuance:
    https://highyieldmunicipals.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/williamstown-ky-ark-encounter-pos.pdf

    There is language in the agreement that would make the purchaser of the property responsible in full for the bond debt.

    “In case of any such consolidation, merger, sale or conveyance and upon any such assumption by the successor corporation, such successor corporation shall succeed to and be substituted for its predecessor, with the same effect as if it had been named in the Agreement as the Borrower ”

    If I read it all right, Crosswater Canyon would become liable for the full obligation of the bonds including any excess debt not covered by the mortgaged property and assets. If the Ark Park goes bust any time before the bonds are paid off, Crosswater Canyon is on the hook for the bond debt in full.

  36. says

    “he financing was set up to protect Crosswater Canyon from financial liability for the project. ”

    I should have said, “he financing was set up IN PART to protect Crosswater Canyon from financial liability for the project.”

  37. gijoel says

    Looks like Ken has been taking tax advice from Kent Hovind. Better fire up the popcorn maker.

  38. kupo says

    I would actually love for you to explain to me a situation where someone has gotten a new tax and said, “hot dog!”

    Sure, I can absolutely do that. See, I’m a person who makes above the median income and I believe that I should pay more in taxes than someone with a lower income. So when I see a vote go up for an increase of taxes that will put more of the burden on myself and will finance the community (rather than large businesses, which sometimes tax proposals will do), I vote for it and am happy to see it pass, if it does. I do take into consideration whether it will put undue financial strain on low income people (we’ve had a couple of those come up recently) but for the most part I’m happy to see my tax money go to the community.

  39. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ken and Co. seem to be setting it up to get around or reduce their tax requirement.

    Thank you for both showing your moral bankruptcy, and that of creobot Ham.
    I’m a senior citizen, and has not take advantage of the property tax reductions offered by the County.
    Why asshole? Simple, what is not paid by me must be paid by others, who are often close much closer to the edge than me. Typical “middle class” homeowners. I have empathy for them. You don’t. You lose as an amoral asshole. You don’t give a shit about anybody other than yourself, like Ken Hamikens….

  40. raven says

    I would actually love for you to explain to me a situation where someone has gotten a new tax and said, “hot dog!”

    Happens all the time in my secular west coast community.
    1. We vote for school bond issues.
    They have always passed.
    Our schools are highly ranked because of it.
    2. We voted for a library district tax,
    We have a great library system.
    The guys out in the boondocks voted their library sytem tax down.
    They no longer have a public library system.

  41. consciousness razor says

    @consciousness razor: yes, thank you for that description of paragraphs. Can you indent your bullets for me?

    For now, I can tell you to go fuck yourself. I didn’t use bullets, and apparently HTML indentation methods aren’t supported in there comments here. But you can go fuck yourself, right?

    All the points you mention for increasing the funding should already be known.

    Should be. Conservative policies are dumb. People still need police/fire/etc., whether or not they made dumb choices in the past. If they rethink those dumb choices (and if we’re lucky, rethink how dumb their whole outlook on life is), then at last and for once they finally made a good decision.

    That means you’re complaining that they are doing something good, to address the obvious fucking problems they never should’ve created, instead of letting those problems fester and destroy their community. Please complain about something else, because that’s a fucking dumb complaint. I don’t care what — complain about how mean I am, if you feel like it.

  42. consciousness razor says

    Also, you don’t seem to grok the point (which I already made) that the amount of funding necessary can simply go up. I doesn’t matter whether or not it “should already be known.” Whether or not they knew ahead of time, it’s going up if they’re doing their jobs which involves funding everything sufficiently.

    You’re (for no apparent reason) suspicious of the fact that it went up. And you’re assuming that they didn’t know, but they may have known. I don’t care — you just pick whether or not they knew, however you think you’ve come up with that information. If it needs to go up, it would need to go up either way. Ken Ham’s monument to lying is responsible for its share, like everyone else, and I don’t see how making this bullshit “deal” with itself changes anything. Perhaps a gang of lawyers can make it look that way, but there is no good reason why they’re not responsible to the community they depend on, whether they’re a church or a business or whatever the fuck they call themselves.

  43. mnb0 says

    “And that makes we wonder how solid AiG’s finances are.”
    Wrong question. You should wonder how solid Ol’Hambo’s finances are. I predict very, very solid; his retirement is nearing. When the Bemusement Park and the Big Wooden Box financially collapse O’Hambo will have his money somewhere safely stored. And he will blame you – suckularists, athiests and evilutionists in general – for the collapse.

  44. KG says

    However, surely you attempt to pay as little tax every April. Paying tax due like most people do may be the case on your home planet. That is just not what happens here. It is not a liberal or conservative thing. It is more of a money thing. You file a 1040EZ then you are probably paying your proper minus that cash under the table that you should report but don’t. -ctech@36

    So, your response to my points is to accuse me of being a criminal. That says a lot more about you than it does about me. No, I do not attempt to evade taxes. Incidentally, fuckwit, I’m not an American. I know this may come as a great shock to you, but non-Americans are actually allowed to comment here.

  45. KG says

    BTW, ctech, a full apology from you for falsely accusing me of criminal actions would be the decent thing. I won’t hold my breath.

  46. rietpluim says

    I was already asking myself what a Dutch zip code was doing in the discussion.1040 EZ is somewhere in Amsterdam.

    /Netherlands-centrism off

  47. ctech says

    @KG: You probably can’t hold your breath very long because that would require that you STFU every once in awhile. No one is accusing you of being a criminal. WTF are you reading? Okay so you’re not american. It is so funny all of these liberals taking the moral high ground on taxes when that is not even what I am saying.

    @consciousness razor: I understand situations can change, but I struggle that it changed enough to blindside a company for essential services. With all the outlooks and numbers they had I find it hard to believe they did not see this coming.

    @raven: You have some serious issues. Actually, all businesses are alike when it comes to applying certain taxes. You call me dumb and then proceed to say exactly what I’ve been saying that the bar and gas station are already paying county taxes that cover those essential services. Also, all the taxes that you guys voted on and passed are non-essential. Obviously, people vote on whether to be levied a new tax to help a non-essential and they can get right with it. I am simply saying I understand that most people try to pay as little as possible and also don’t like to pay twice for something. I want you to go to Burger King with a coupon for a free cheeseburger in your pocket. I want you to order a cheeseburger, not use your coupon, and then pay the cashier twice. I guess some of the geniuses here would do that because, you know, they’re not morally bankrupt.

  48. Holms says

    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.

    I don’t think that it necessarily implies anything about his finances at all; it may be that he is simply grasping at every cent he can because he is unprincipled.

  49. consciousness razor says

    I understand situations can change, but I struggle that it changed enough to blindside a company for essential services.

    I described it as a “monument to lying.” This not an honest company that was “blindsided” by some unexpected, unfair, overburdensome tax, that came out of nowhere for no good reason which they do not legitimately owe. It is the opposite of all of that. They were not hit by a fucking bus here, and you should not feel at all sorry for them. They are tax evaders, and disseminating bullshit is their entire business model. Nothing about their account, whatever you might have read, should be taken at face value. Maybe they can spin a good story, but you’d have to be extremely naive to believe it.

    With all the outlooks and numbers they had I find it hard to believe they did not see this coming.

    Who are “they”? That is, do you mean people in Ark Encounter LLC/Crosswater Canyon didn’t see it coming? Or do you mean people in the Williamstown government didn’t see it coming? Which group do you think was being stupid? Or it is both? (My money’s on both, not that it matters.) And why is their stupidity supposed to explain why the Ark Park shouldn’t be responsible for paying such taxes, like everyone else, in order to make its community function?

    Or do you have a different explanation? Is it because other people have gotten away with it? Maybe it’s that we have fine, upstanding, honest, hard-working citizens like Donald Trump who don’t pay their taxes, so that means it’s okay? Or they just don’t want to pay this particular tax, or nobody anywhere really deeply loves paying taxes in general, so that’s what does it? Whatever it is, it will help if the answers make some fucking sense. And if it’s actually true, well, then you’re really onto something.

  50. ctech says

    Perhaps Razor. I don’t think anything can be taken at face value but all we know is the story at face value and I simply brought some issues I had with it… you know being at face value. It is apparent that things that promote your agenda can be taken at face value but things that don’t, well, aren’t. However, we do actually agree that both groups were being stupid but predicting essential government services is the government job not the businesses. The key wording from your post is “like everyone else”. As I stated several times earlier that I would like to see how this tax is being collected. To me, there was subtle implication that it was solely aimed at the Ark. If that is the case then that is wrong especially to pay for essential services everyone takes advantage of but I find it hard to believe all residents and businesses are not getting hit with it but I just don’t know. The article on Ky.com did not say or interview other businesses to get their point of view.

    We also agree Donald Trump is a scumbag. However, even though he lies ALOT, I think when he talks about his taxes he is being honest to the extent that he is taking advantage of programs available to reduce your taxes. (I am not saying he is being honest about his taxes but honest when he says the little taxes he has paid is because of valid loopholes) You can call it loophole or whatever you want. For example, I installed some energy-efficient doors and windows. Well, there is a whole section when you file your taxes for deductions on the money you spent to make your house more energy efficient. It is not dishonest to apply for those deductions and I think more times than not Trump qualified for the deductions. The only real immoral ambiguity is if you are taking advantage of a program without honestly qualifying but instead lie. For example, if I didn’t install qualified energy-efficient doors and windows. There are others such as putting 1 cow on a 100 acres and calling it farmland. It sucks and it is stupid but that is the governments responsibility to fix that if it is considered “taking advantage of the system”. Otherwise, it is perfectly legal but I can see where the moral implications can be argued but overall it is ethical because the guy does have livestock. That is where liberals yell foul and Trump yells “it is just good business and me being smart”. However, it is actually true that every company and most people look for every deduction they can get and even do things they know will be able to write-off.

  51. timberwoof says

    Ctech, the Ark Encounter is a multimillion dollar scam set up to receive donations from well-meaning deceived believers, employ volunteer docents, be exempt from paying property and corporate taxes, and charge visitors forty bucks a pop to look at a few posters of Bible verses and wooden boxes that contain loudspeakers. You appear to be defending Ken Ham’s moral right to operate this religious business profitably. Why on Earth should any business, inherently deceitful or not, have the right to operate without paying decent wages to its employees or pay its share of taxes?
    You ought not complain about subtle implications in an article you demand to be taken at “face value”.
    Nothing’s wrong with taking advantage of legitimate tax breaks: they are (or at least ought to be) economic incentives to do the right thing, such as installing solar energy collectors. What’s wrong is bamboozling the state into giving millions of dollars of tax breaks to your charitable organization and then complaining that your business is being unfairly taxed to pay for emergency services. (God is probably not going protect the visitors from heart attacks and splinters. I’m hoping for a repeat of Touchdown Jesus’ demonstration of God’s wrath and an appropriate response from the regional fire protection district.)

  52. consciousness razor says

    No point in repeating everything timberwoof said, since it’s all correct. Maybe it’s worth making a distinction very clear, which ought to be obvious to everyone but apparently isn’t obvious to ctech.

    — There is a box you can check on a form somewhere, to get a tax deduction for something (installing energy-efficient doors and windows, for example). This is the government offering incentives for certain activities which are beneficial to the community, as timberwoof said. (not repeating is hard!)
    — There are no boxes on any such forms, in which you may certify that you want to fuck everyone over and not pay the taxes you owe to them. The government doesn’t offer shit like that, and there would be no good reason for it (that is, us, the people the government serves) to ever consider doing so.

    In case you missed it, I’ll say it again. The first type of box exists. The second one doesn’t. What most certainly is not true here is that somebody checked the second box, and we should all be accepting that they made this prudent business decision for themselves, like everyone else does all of the time, because doing that kind of a thing is part of a program deliberately set up by the society at large to benefit that very society.

    What you’re saying ctech, in the most obvious possible way and with a kind of certainty that few things in life can ever approach, makes no fucking sense at all. Ken Ham and his cult (and why stop there? toss in all conservatives) already lie and bullshit enough for me and you and everyone else, so thank you for your valiant efforts, but we do not need any more of that right at this moment.

  53. ctech says

    @timberwoof: Of course, someone new comes along and thinks I am saying something I am not. It is nice that the comments are text and any sane individual can go back and read what I am saying. I am not demanding it be taken at face value. My whole assumption is predicated on the notion there are facts we are not aware of. Quite the opposite of the ones taking it at face value.
    Also, I am not sure what you mean by “Ken Ham’s moral right to operate this religious business profitably”. I take it that you understand churches still have operating costs and being a pastor is a career and most of their salaries are set by a board so churches need to be ran profitably. Why is it not okay for Ken Ham to protect his companies interest? You may have a moral objection but you don’t have all the facts.

    I’m not sure if it is face-value reading or what but your perception is that AiG bamboozled the state. If it was a pre-planned scam by AiG then the state has just as much guilt for falling for it. I mean if you lose $5 because a guy comes up to you and says “I bet I know where you got your sneakers” and you say “alright where?” and he says, “on your feet”. Well, you got bamboozled. I don’t think there was any bamboozling in their deals and if anyone is getting bamboozled it would be AiG if they were not told, “hey, your increase tourism is going to make our emergency services inadequate so you will likely be assessed an additional safety tax to help offset those costs”. That is all I am saying but everyone is struggling with that because of their bias and hatred. So, YES it is okay to complain IF INDEED you are being unfairly taxed to pay for emergency services. That is the question I have been asking the whole time and the response AiG even gave in the article that they will do what is fair. I don’t put much stock into those words at this time but it did seem like the right things to say based on what I gathered from the situation of implementing a new tax.

    It is literally hilarious to watch people on this site take a small piece of information and just blow it out of proportion. That article really told us nothing but according to people on here, Ken Ham has now cheated on his taxes, falsified his high school diploma, raped a 3rd grader, killed Princess Di, and caused the Beatles to split up. I am just saying Calm Down.

  54. Vivec says

    So Ham gets to evade taxes because he thinks the tax is unfair?

    Somehow, I don’t think moral outrage is an excuse the IRS will accept.

  55. consciousness razor says

    If it was a pre-planned scam by AiG then the state has just as much guilt for falling for it.

    1) There’s scammer, a fraud, a con artist, or some such criminal like that.
    2) I’m the victim of that person’s scam.
    3) Therefore, I’m “guilty” of “falling for” their scam.
    4) Victims are criminals.

    I’m not a lawyer, but I think maybe you could use a refresher on how the law works….

    Are you a Trump voter, by any chance?

    Whatever. The state’s obviously guilty as sin, so somebody should press charges against them for falling victim to a scam. There’s got to be a law somewhere in the books which deals with that. Please, go, busy yourself finding a lawyer who will make that case, a judge who will hear it, and presumably a jury which has been prepared with some very powerful hallucinogens. Come back (if you really have to) and let us all know how that works out.

  56. ctech says

    @consciousness razor: I am not certain you understand how taxes work. When I am talking about tax deductions I am liking it to people taking advantage of programs to reduce their taxes owed. That is what they are doing would fall under. There was a safety tax voted on but as I said it sounds like it is solely about the city getting a portion of ticket sales from a single business entity. You can argue, which the article does, that it only 50 cent but all I am saying is that every pizzeria and hotel should be paying it as well.

    Also, to mention in the article the mayor and others keep talking about how hard the schools are going to get hit. Well, WTF did they do before the Ark? Tax breaks don’t take money away and the overall government has had a net gain but they frame it like it is a big disservice to the community. A tax break does not mean you are making more money. The mayor says the Ark’s tax bill will be 250k. Through tax breaks the city/county will return a large portion of it, the government will keep around $60k. Not to mention any interest bearing accounts they keep the money in while they return it. So, the city/county is still making money. However, their worry is that AiG is making a move to put everything in their 501c which according to checkboxes would make them tax exempt and that is not breaking any laws. I do agree that is a valid worry for their local community, but I am not sure of all the tax breaks needed if they are just going to straight tax-exempt. It is just a discrepancy in the story that I would like to know more before I just assume AiG is out to screw the township. Ultimately, the city council needs to be ready to play hardball as I mentioned in a previous post it is possible to squeeze AiG in other ways but if they convert to their 501c then they have the right to do that.

    So, explain to me where that tax is fair and fairly assessed. I am actually open to that as that is what I have been asking since my first comment. I don’t care the “subjective” good the tax is for as that is not a weight of its fairness. Obviously, police and fire funding should be assessed across the board by anyone who uses the services. It seems in the reading of the article a safety tax of 50 cent of the ticket price was imposed solely on the Ark. How can you even begin to think that is a fair tax? This is not an issue where you individually tax a company to accommodate a specific need of just that company. Meaning, explain to me why it is fair to assess a tax to a single entity to cover essential services available to all?

    By the way, some others have mentioned they are not American on here, well, here’s a history lesson. If there is an unfair tax we will throw your tea in the harbor.

  57. ctech says

    @consciousness razor 66: There are different types of guilt. I don’t mean guilt as in punishable by law even though there are states that evaluate guilt of victims and rule appropriately based on the level of guilt of both sides. You clearly are not a lawyer or in the legal profession but obviously there are situations where people fall victim to scams and are reprimanded. Perhaps there are not specific criminal codes that can be charged by a district attorney but I think if he looks hard enough they could charge with you something if they want. For example, people that get scammed but are left holding stolen goods. Most places have a criminal code for that so while you are a victim you could get charges for receiving stolen goods. Also, don’t ever bet on something not being able to get a lawyer, judge, and jury. You should really learn how all of that works.

    In fact, if you fell victim to a scam and it caused damage to me then I could absolutely get a lawyer, judge, and jury. So, yes you can sue or talk to your DA about bringing criminal charges against any victim you want.

  58. consciousness razor says

    So, explain to me where that tax is fair and fairly assessed.

    Let me explain instead that individuals don’t get to decide that they won’t pay taxes which are in fact assessed to them by the government, because that person thinks it’s unfair.

    Some individuals will do that. They don’t like the tax, and they don’t pay it. That is tax evasion, and it a crime.

    Responsible people in a democratic system try to make their laws more fair, through legal and political channels. Breaking those laws is hardly ever justified morally, and you have not made anything like a morally compelling case, if you even know what that would look like given that you have no problem contending that victims are criminals.

    The story does go that some people threw some tea into a harbor one time. I have heard that story about my own country, you fucking idiot. If the revolution works out, and they form the People’s Republic of Ken Ham, I am not ever visiting it, even if it’s not an irradiated pile of rubble after our army is done with them. Until then, the American fucking government itself, whose side you somehow believe you’re on, still collects taxes from people, even those who don’t fucking like it or understand a single fucking thing about why it’s being done. That’s what they do.

  59. timberwoof says

    There are more developments in the story: http://www.kentucky.com/news/state/article162508368.html
    I was in error. It was an $18 million tax rebate, not $14M.
    Ctech, aside from that he hasn’t got one, which part of “Ken Ham’s moral right to operate this religious business profitably” confused you? Sure, churches have expenses, but do they commonly operate on a for-profit basis? Oh, yeah. My mistake. They do: they need to pay for the pastors’ multimillion-dollar mansions somehow. It’s a good thing Ken Ham got people to donate money to build the Ark: that shows good business sense, right? It seems as though if Ken Ham can bamboozle people into giving him tax rebates and spendy entry tickets to see boxes with loudspeakers in them, that’s their fault. Ham is exonerated because he’s a good Ferengi—I mean businessman. I could, of course, be in error in my assessment. Why don’t you explain it to me?

  60. rietpluim says

    Sometimes I don’t understand half of what someone is writing, until some others point out he’s full of shit. Then I’m relieved it’s not my lack of common sense but his. Thanks everybody for exposing ctech’s bullshit.

  61. unclefrogy says

    look here ctech please I will not bother to “argue” point about this tax or whether is cheating is being done by the hamster it has already been said much clearer by others already.
    just answer me this question, given the situation that they now realize that because of the much increased traffic into their town and the county caused by this major attraction of the big fucking box that their projected costs for essential services are underfunded where should they get the needed funding if not by taxes and who should be paying the most if not one of the biggest companies in the area and one of the ones that is also the biggest user of them. The farms in the area could be making more money have a larger cash flow but they sure as hell do not use the same amount of services that an amusement park does.
    what should the local government do to meet their budget requirements?
    uncle frogy

  62. ctech says

    The point was that unfair taxes are troublesome, hence, the Boston tea party. AiG is doing their own revolution and they sent a letter saying they should be exempt and that was declined. So, it is still to be seen the level of tax evasion that is going on which plays on another overlying motif of my comments about jumping to conclusions. The same as even that article appeared to attempt to put all the woes of their schools in the district on the Ark. You know one little thing from one little article and you don’t even know it that well and you are okay with calling someone a criminal tax evader. There are conservative nutjobs and liberal nutjobs and if you look around you and don’t see any liberal nutjobs then guess what that means? The irony is that you think you are so different with some sort of unfailing moral compass with an unfaltering sense of justice but you literally are the first person to pickup your pitchfork and burn the witches. No one on this site actually comprehends what they read unless it is from some other liberal nutjob all the while thinking they are smarter than everyone else. Even on the comments on this page people talk about taxes, lawyers, and ambulances like they got a clue but it is just funny. For example, How many times have people commented that the safety tax is for ambulance service? Perhaps, but we don’t know and I find it unlikely the tax will cover ambulance service. Ambulance service is not typically a public service. Go ride in an ambulance and then get you an attorney that will subro that for you and help you with the cost because you will probably get a nice bill from the ambulance company.

    The skill set for people on this site to take something and paint it in the worst possible light is amazing. You now paint me as someone who blames victims but yes in certain situations victims can share some blame and (because you brought up legal jargon) laws on the books will allow suits and charges against victims in some states. That is not even close to saying all victims are criminals.

    By the way, I did not vote for Trump.

  63. timberwoof says

    Comparing Ken Ham’s desire to operate his business (You do agree that it is a business, right? Or do you want to call it a religious charity?) without paying taxes to the Boston tax protesters is like comparing a religious con artist not wanting to pay local taxes for a government he could vote into or out of office to colonists not wanting to pay taxes for a government seated across the ocean in which they have no representation.
    The rest if your whine is a long drawn-out ad-hoinem argument about evil liberals. It is irrelevant because Kentucky is not widely known for having many liberals. Kentucky was chosen in part because of the general religious conservatism entrenched in the state. Remember, this is the state in which a county clerk was defended for holding her religious values above the Constitution, and telling certain people that they can’t have rights she enjoys because God said so.

  64. ctech says

    @unclefroggy: They should assess the tax across the board. I have not called the police to my house 1 time but I probably pay the same amount of tax as the people that call every week. No one should be “paying the most” for essential services. Not most in the sense that my 4% tax generates more but most in the sense that you don’t pay 4% and I pay 4%+.50cents. Also, you can’t argue the point if he is cheating or not because no one knows. No, no one has made that clear.

    @timberwoof: I actually love the Ferengi reference. The only thing I can say is that you are getting into some of the tax exempt status of church arguments which really boils down to separation of church and state and that liberals can’t have it both ways. When a church gets a certain size then liberals start screaming taxes but the reality is most churches need the exempt status, still operate for profit, and provide a valuable service to the community with the funds. Also, the pastor’s salary is usually set by the board. If that many people want to donate to those churches than that is just the way it is. I don’t think professional sports players should make millions of dollars but ticket sales and merchandise generates the economics to set their salaries. You can argue but it just displays your hatred and jealousy more than any moral issues with the church. Please don’t spin that I am now saying that there are no morally corrupt churches. Clearly, there are but there are plenty that are quite clean. There is nothing illegal or morally corrupt about making a profit. You would have churches that have a surplus of funds after all the overhead and payroll to just tare that money and give it away and operate from zero. That is silly and it is a disservice to the congregation and people dependent on what the church offers.

  65. KG says

    No one is accusing you of being a criminal. WTF are you reading? – ctech@50

    I’m reading you, liar:

    You file a 1040EZ then you are probably paying your proper minus that cash under the table that you should report but don’t. – ctech@36

  66. consciousness razor says

    Alright, I’ve got a plan. I’m going to jerk myself off for $10. I’ll pay it to myself once I make it to the ATM (the contract says 90 days, but I may as well get it over with). That’s just the beginning. All of my troubles will be over. As if by magic, in the eyes of God and the IRS and some people who threw some tea into some water one time, I’ll be reborn as The Second Reformed Church of Jerk Off Profit-Making, which is a 501(c)(3) revolutionary army, think tank, charitable foundation, patriotic do-gooders association, and scam dispensary. The core tenet of our new faith, also the patented company slogan, will be “fuck you and everything else, including all of the facts” which must be protected (by you, and by the way, fuck you) according to the constitutional principles we seek to overthrow.

  67. Vivec says

    Lmfao fuck flat taxes, people who have more money or put a bigger draw on the system (such as by introducing a giant plywood eyesore that will inevitably increase the need for fire and emergency services) absolutely should pay more.

  68. unclefrogy says

    look “sir ” just answer the question where are the needed funds for the increased costs caused in part by the big fucking box going to come from? As I read it it is a charge per ticket sold so the overall cost will be larger than for the 7 11 or the gas station what is unfair about that?
    uncle frogy

  69. unclefrogy says

    also what makes you think that the hamster’s “church” is set up in anyway like you suggest all churches are set up the RCC is sure not setup like that and just because someone sets up a “church” with a bunch of cronies does not make it anything other than a scheme to get money for themselves. just for the profit
    uncle frogy

  70. ctech says

    @vivec: I don’t think you know what a flat tax is. If it is percentage base then it can be flat but still generate more from larger entities. However, there is not much of a fair way to come up with who puts a bigger draw on a system. For example, a very dangerous plant down the road could have 0 workplace accidents for a year and the board of education office across the street could have had 1 heart attack and 1 stroke at their office for the same duration. Danger is to be assessed by insurance companies not whether or not someone is entitled to emergency services.

    @consciousness razor: I guess if you want people to donate to you jerking off then that is perfectly okay to do. Best of luck with that.

    @KG: Sorry, I guess in the strictest sense that is criminal but based on my stance which is that it is okay to mow some grass as a side job and get paid cash and not claim it and just do a 1040EZ. So, I am still not calling you a criminal. You are calling yourself a criminal. Of course, the whole thing was just a satirical example and if you really are not doing that then I am not sure why your panties are in a wad. Obviously, you have no idea what I have been talking about this entire time which is why you thought I was calling you a criminal.

  71. Vivec says

    I am well aware of what a flat tax is, but I am in favor of a progressive tax. People like me should pay a higher percentage of our income than people who make less or don’t cause an increased need for public services.

    The specific amounts can be hammered out legislatively, but I am morally offended by the concept of a poor person paying the same percentage as me.

  72. consciousness razor says

    I guess if you want people to donate to you jerking off then that is perfectly okay to do.

    No, you misunderstand. That’s just how my transfiguration into a brand new entity with no legal and moral responsibilities took place. Give me some credit here. The projects I’ll have my ghouls work on (always getting my way, whatever the fuck that may be at any given moment) will have a more solid source of funding than donations … primarily scamming everyone around me then suing them for being my victims. You can make a real killing at it, and I’m told that is perfectly okay as well. But as part of our enhanced educational outreach program, we will also sell mythologically-themed t-shirts ($35 plus sales tax) in the gift-shop / militia barracks / theological academy.

  73. ctech says

    @consciousness razor: thanks for clearing that up. Sounds like you got it all figured out. Of course, you would have to deal with the Finger Clit Society that continually ridicules, bashes, and even sabotages The Second Reform Church of Jerking Off every chance they get all the while doing the same thing you are doing just not quite as well.

  74. unclefrogy says

    conservatives often seem to complain that government should be managed like a business but when governments discover that their costs have increased as well as the amount of services that the citizens require and have raise their price for the products and services that are provided just like any business would have to do by raising taxes they complain loudly and bitterly, most irrational.
    uncle frogy

  75. timberwoof says

    The reason churches are not taxed is purportedly to avoid entanglement of church and state, but we’re perfectly happy to let the government get entangled in the finances of all sorts of other charitable organizations. Once some organization can convince the government it is a church, it’s hands off. The government should not be in the business of determining what’s a church: That’s entanglement of church and state. All charitable organizations, religious or not, should be subject to the same reporting requirements. Churches are not. Thus you have no evidence for your claim that churches provide needed charity work.
    “Honest” pastors and professional athletes are irrelevant to this discussion. Red herrings don’t fly here.
    Ken Ham has used the tax-exempt status of his “religious charity” to rake in a lot of money for himself. You did not answer whether you thought Ken Ham is running a business or a charity, and by which criteria should illuminate his financial activities.

  76. KG says

    @KG: Sorry, I guess in the strictest sense that is criminal but based on my stance which is that it is okay to mow some grass as a side job and get paid cash and not claim it and just do a 1040EZ. So, I am still not calling you a criminal. You are calling yourself a criminal. Of course, the whole thing was just a satirical example and if you really are not doing that then I am not sure why your panties are in a wad. Obviously, you have no idea what I have been talking about this entire time which is why you thought I was calling you a criminal. – ctech@75

    I’m still having problems understanding how anyone could be such a complete fuckwit as you, ctech.

    1) You admit the action you accused me of is criminal (which would of course mean that I am a criminal), but you for some unstated reason think it’s OK to commit that particular crime*, and that somehow means you haven’t accused me of being a criminal. But that’s just a load of stupid, dishonest, crap.

    2) And you don’t understand why I object to you accusing me of committing crimes if I haven’t actually committed them. I suppose in your world people only object to being accused of crimes they have committed.

    *Have you told the IRS about this belief of yours? I’m sure they’d be interested.

  77. KG says

    BTW, ctech, in accusing me of being a criminal, you also accused me of being a hypocrite. You assumed that although I have been objecting to tax evasion, I do it myself. I don’t. Could you please use the small particle of brain trapped in your skull to try to figure out why I might find your accusation objectionable?

  78. davidc1 says

    DOC DOC ,go and visit WEIT and see what Mr Ham has done to his big wooden box .

  79. ctech says

    @timberwoof: it is both. Only people here think that there should be some imaginary distinction between, for example, how the Red Cross is organized and how Walmart is. It seems you think that once you file tax exempt status you can now operate like it is Trek TNG where money no longer exists.

    @KG: You need to slow your roll and stop giving everyone on this site a bad name. Can all you do is resort to name calling? I am just saying you are getting all bent out of shape because someone insinuated that you didn’t claim money you earned “under the table”. No reasonable individual would think that was a real accusation. Also, I did let the IRS know my belief and they said it is cool everyone is allowed a certain amount of unclaimed side work. However, for you and other dimwits on this site believe that if you get out of paying taxes you are immediately a criminal. Thus, that is why you thought I was calling you a criminal. I would venture to guess that if you went through and forced reporting of the whole “under the table” economy that you would be hurting a lot more destitute people than helping them which is why the IRS allows a certain amount. The irony is funny because all the bad things you say about tax evading also covers a lot of hard working people that rely on that to make ends meet.

  80. timberwoof says

    Utter nonsense, Ctech. Not being a business doesn’t mean money disappears. Charities, governments, and religious institutions, none of which are businesses, still have to carefully handle money. In the case of charities, it must be used to pay the salaries of the highly visible CEOs and have enough left over so they can give apparently big checks to actual relief agencies now and then. In the case of governments, it must be used to pay defense contractors and golf courses. And in the case of religions, the money is generally used to buy large mansions for the pastors and their luggage-lifters. (I could be mistaken in some of these.) Your conclusion of how I think is not rationally drawn; it is stupid.
    Instead of discussing the status of Ken Ham’s Ark Park, you tossed me more red herrings about Wal-mart and the Red Cross. I take that to mean you have conceded my point that Ken Ham’s Ark Park is a business whose intent is to make profit for its investors. Out of politeness I will assume that you are an honest and law-abiding person, so I conclude that you agree that Ken Ham’s profitable business should taxed as such.
    It’s ironic that you support a flat tax despite its unfairness to poor people yet you support the black market so poor people don’t suffer so much from taxes.
    It strikes me from your various conversations that you are a weasel unwilling to be pinned down to specific points. You weren’t serious when you implied that KG is a criminal, you think people should be able to get away without paying trifles of their legally owed taxes, and you think Ken Ham’s Ark Park should be allowed to mostly operate tax-free even though it is mostly for profit. You never did address the core of the issue: Are a few Bible verse posters and the shape of the box enough to grant his tourist attraction tax-free status? And there’s the greater question: why should religious organizations be tax-exempt if they won’t file the same paperwork as real charities do? I’m not holding my breath for an answer. I’m just expecting more deflections and red herrings. You’re good at throwing those.

  81. ctech says

    @timberwoof: You should go open a church and a non-profit charity and compare the processes. Any differences still would not matter. I am not exactly sure what you think is going on. Do you think churches have no process or fill out any paperwork?? They just say “Im a church, give tax-exempt status”. That is laughable that you think that.

    I did address the issue that first it is possible to run a non-profit for-profit. You call it red-herrings but I just call it examples of your difference in understanding between what tax exempt means and how it is obtained. You also misrepresent churches paying for mansions for their pastors. If you mean they give the pastor a salary and then he goes and gets financing for a home then yeah I guess they bought him a mansion. However, can a large church own the mansion (ie buy the mansion for the pastor) and allow him to live there? Absolutely they can. You have zero facts and that is how you think. Zero facts and just make stuff up on how you think Christians are breaking the rules and screwing people over because you are so angry that you are just irrational. Anger, fear, and jealousy are paths to the dark side. I swapped it up from Trek to Wars.

    I hope you got your answer because Bible verse posters are not enough to get tax-exempt status. There are pros and cons of tax-exempt status so if he feels going tax-exempt is more “profitable” then who cares. If he has a couple of companies and stratified his businesses and charities to reduce his tax burden… then there are lines and grey lines…. but my point of my “red herrings” is that you hold him to an entirely different standard yet with zero real evidence. We actually don’t know what he has paid and not paid.

  82. KG says

    @KG: You need to slow your roll and stop giving everyone on this site a bad name. Can all you do is resort to name calling? I am just saying you are getting all bent out of shape because someone insinuated that you didn’t claim money you earned “under the table”. – ctech@85

    1) I’m not the one calling other people criminals without any evidence – which you did, liar, however often you deny it. And your bluster about what the IRS allows is entirely irrelevant because you said quite explicitly: “you are probably paying your proper minus that cash under the table that you should report but don’t. ”
    2) I suggest you learn what the word “claim” means. Hint: it does not mean the same as “report”.

    The irony is funny because all the bad things you say about tax evading also covers a lot of hard working people that rely on that to make ends meet.

    They should not need to – they should be paid a living wage for their work, and the rich should be taxed far more highly than at present, while you want to make inequality far greater with your “flat tax” garbage, you hypocrite.

  83. woodsong says

    I just want to drop in an observation here.

    ctech says:

    You also misrepresent churches paying for mansions for their pastors. If you mean they give the pastor a salary and then he goes and gets financing for a home then yeah I guess they bought him a mansion. However, can a large church own the mansion (ie buy the mansion for the pastor) and allow him to live there? Absolutely they can.

    There’s a major flaw in your argument here, ctech. Ken Ham isn’t the pastor at your nearby corner parish (member of a larger church organization), subject to the larger church’s regulation. He’s the head of AIG, the one running the whole show. He’s setting his own salary out of the ‘take’. Who told Oral Roberts how much money he could take home from his ‘ministry’?

    There’s also a lot of history behind the Ark Encounter that you clearly say you’re not aware of and can’t be arsed to look up. Why do you think nobody else here knows anything either?

  84. ctech says

    @KG: I’ve said nothing in favor for a flat tax. I only said that essential services cost should be shared. I have already addressed calling you a criminal. Please see my previous posts. Lastly, is pointing out “report” and “claim” all you got? Interacting with the outside world must be difficult for you.

    @woodsong: The initial statement about pastor’s mansions was a seemingly blanket statement implying a wrong-doing on all or a lot of churches. I refuted that just as I would most generalizations. It really had nothing to do with Ken Ham. Perhaps he is different. I am not familiar with anything Oral Roberts except that he is an evangelist but most churches have a board who set salaries. That is all I said on the matter. If you want to take a handful of individual’s “wrong-doings” and apply it to everyone then you certainly have that right but that right does not make you right. Lastly, I shouldn’t have to continue my investigation to answer questions that should have been answered in the articles. Of course, you have to be careful not assume now that I just do zero fact checking which would be wrong. I am saying I am not going to waste my time getting more information for something that should have been disclosed with good reporting. So, based on the report (and linked articles) and the comments I felt it was safe to assume all the facts are not known. Obviously, some people are more trusting than others and quicker to jump to conclusions.

  85. KG says

    ctech@90

    I’ve said nothing in favor for a flat tax. I only said that essential services cost should be shared.

    Yet another lie from you. Here you are @70:

    No one should be “paying the most” for essential services. Not most in the sense that my 4% tax generates more but most in the sense that you don’t pay 4% and I pay 4%+.50cents.

  86. ctech says

    @KG 88: “They should not need to – they should be paid a living wage for their work, and the rich should be taxed far more highly than at present, while you want to make inequality far greater with your “flat tax” garbage, you hypocrite.”

    There are different types of taxes and most city/count/federal taxes for local essential services are flat. So, I was far from picketing in favor of a flat tax and was simply stating the factual standard for local government. For example, how would you propose to collect a sales tax? Every time you buy an item at Kohl’s you present your W2 so the minimum wage employee with no Algebra knowledge can reconfigure their computer system to calculate the new tax rate?

    When talking about something like income tax then an argument can be made whether a flat tax is fair or not which I would think you would probably be for. This is because after all the tax breaks a rich person may bet their total tax contribution could land under 20%. However, most people, I think, are probably between 25% and 30%.

    Either way, taking extra from the Ark is not out of the realm of possibilities but that is usually done at a negotiating table with the business. That is something else the Ark mentioned which to me is disappointing in the way the councilmen handled imposing a new tax.

  87. KG says

    ctech@92,

    You were not talking about a sales tax so that is irrelevant. Nor were you talking about an income tax, where of course I would not be in favour of a flat tax, but a progressive one, along with the abolition of the tax breaks for the rich. There is no reason a tax to fund essential services should be flat, or should be negotiated with a business, any more than with an individual household.

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