Ken Ham’s Ark Park Gets Tax Incentives

In the Lexington Herald-Leader located in Lexington, Kentucky we read $43 million tax break approved for Ark Encounter theme park.

It’s about the proposed Noah’s Ark theme park named Ark Encounter, to be built by a corporate partnership including the creationist empire of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. He runs the online creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), and he also created the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum.

The last time we wrote about Hambo’s Ark Park was Ken Ham Gets a Few Dollars More. And the last time we specifically wrote about state tax incentives for the project was More Opposition to Ken Ham’s Ark Park. In that post we stated our position about tax incentives for the silly thing, which was:

Frankly, dear reader, your Curmudgeon isn’t concerned about the prospect of Kentucky’s kicking back some sales taxes collected from drooling Ark Park tourists. There shouldn’t be any net cost to Kentucky taxpayers, because without the Ark Park to attract them, the droolers wouldn’t have paid those taxes.

Let’s see what the latest news is all about. Here are some excerpts from the Lexington Herald-Leader, with bold font added by us:

A controversial Bible-themed amusement park received approval Thursday for up to $43 million in state tax incentives over a 10-year period.

The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority, which oversees tax credits for tourism and film-related projects, unanimously approved the tax credit for the Ark Encounter project, which is scheduled to break ground in August outside Williamstown in Grant County.

Remember, these are kick-backs to the theme park developers of taxes collected on sales to fools who visit Hambo’s Ark. It’s not money coming from the Kentucky taxpayers in general. Let’s read on:

In addition to the tax rebate, the state may spend an estimated $11 million to improve an interchange off I-75 near the 800-acre site in Northern Kentucky.

That’s different. Now the state is gouging its citizens to provide road access to Hambo’s property. This is a long article, which we know you’re going to read in its entirety, so we’ll just give you a few more excerpts:

The 800-acre park is expected to have a life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark, a Tower of Babel, petting zoos and other live animals and an assortment of Bible-themed exhibits.

[…]

Mike Zovath, senior vice president of the Ark Encounter project, would not disclose the major investors in the project but said that project backers are still raising money and hope to have all of the $150 million needed for initial construction by the end of June.

There’s also an article about this news at the National Center for Science Education: Kentucky to grant tax incentives to ark park. They say:

The tax incentives will allow Ark Encounter to recoup 25 percent of its development costs by retaining the sales tax generated by the project. With the development costs of the park estimated at 150 million dollars, the incentives would amount to 37.5 million dollars over ten years. Whether it is consistent with the federal and Kentucky constitutions for the state to grant the incentives to the project is still not clear …

[…]

In a May 19, 2011, press release, the Reverend Barry Lynn, the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, declared, “The state of Kentucky should not be promoting the spread of fundamentalist Christianity or any other religious viewpoint … Let these folks build their fundamentalist Disneyland without government help.”

There’s not much we can say, except to observe that ol’ Hambo is one crafty creationist. But he wouldn’t be thriving unless there were millions of customers for his product. Such are the times in which we live.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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5 responses to “Ken Ham’s Ark Park Gets Tax Incentives

  1. How can you have, ‘a life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark’?

  2. Alan(UK), thanks for the giggle.

  3. Realist1948

    So with one hand, Kentucky will fund Hambo’s project to make people more stupid. Presumably another part of Kentucky’s government spends money on education. It’s like paying one group to dig holes and another to fill in the holes. But I suppose it does provide jobs. :-)

  4. Gabriel Hanna

    I don’t think it is objectionable for the state to build roads to where people want to go.

    @Realist1948:It’s like paying one group to dig holes and another to fill in the holes. But I suppose it does provide jobs. :-)

    Only by taking away jobs that would have been created by people who voluntarily spent their own money sensibly. Instead, their money was forcibly taken to do pointless things, making all of them poorer by benefiting a few.

  5. Gabriel Hanna says:

    I don’t think it is objectionable for the state to build roads to where people want to go.

    Developers usually have to build their own roads. But maybe it’s different for access from an interstate highway. If what’s going on is consistent with other developments in Kentucky, then it’s not objectionable — notwithstanding the absurdity of the destination.