City Wants To Tax Ken Ham’s Ticket Sales

We were informed about this by one of our clandestine operatives, code-named Blue Grass. It’s in the Lexington Herald-Leader of Lexington, Kentucky, the second-largest city in the state, and they have a comments section. Their headline is Ark Encounter owners ‘blindsided’ by new tax that could raise ticket prices. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

The proprietors of a gigantic wooden Noah’s Ark in Williamstown are steamed about a new “safety assessment” tax that will collect 50 cents for every admission ticket sold, according to the Grant County News.

They’re talking about Ark Encounter, the bizarre, land-locked “replica” of Noah’s Ark, the biblical tourist attraction run by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. The Lexington Herald-Leader continues:

Ark Encounter spokesman Mike Zovath told the newspaper that Ark officials will now have to consider raising ticket prices, which are $40 for adults and $28 for children.

Gasp — this is an outrage! How can the city tax Hambo’s ticket sales? He’s the world’s holiest man, who knows more about religion and science than everyone else, and he’s accustomed to receiving benefits from governments, not paying for them. As we reported in Kentucky Newspaper Turns Against Hambo’s Ark:

The city of Williamstown agreed to a 75 percent break on property taxes for 30 years and a $62 million bond issue. The Grant County Industrial Development Authority gave the park $200,000 plus 100 acres of land at a reduced price. The state has promised $11 million in road improvements for the park’s benefit.

After all that generosity, now the city is trying to extract money from Hambo. We’re shocked — shocked! Let’s read some more about this tax situation:

“I can understand … how they decided to justify the tax, but the lack of transparency between the city council and mayor and the Ark Encounter is what’s really disturbing,” Zovath told the Grant County News. “We’ve been trying to work with the city and work with the mayor to do everything we can to help improve Williamstown, and to get blindsided like this was really a surprise.”

They were blindsided! How could the city do this to Hambo? Hey — savor the way the newspaper’s next paragraph is worded. We’ll put the fun phrases in bold font:

The $100 million theme park opened last July with what creators say is a life-size depiction of the boat that Noah and his family would have traveled on during a biblical flood, including dinosaurs they claim existed at the same time. Ark officials have predicted attendance of 600,000 visitors in the first year.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Then the newspaper says:

Williamstown Mayor Rick Skinner said the fee will help upgrade the city’s emergency equipment, which might need to be used at Ark Encounter, or the other businesses affected by the tax, the Williamstown Family Fun Park.

Why would Hambo’s operation ever need emergency equipment? With all the holiness surrounding the place, there should never be any problems there. The city should pay Hambo fifty cents for every person who buys a ticket to visit the ark.

The newspaper’s last paragraph is also a zinger:

Grant County is facing a severe budget crisis, partly caused by issues at the county jail, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Although the state, county and city governments put together a generous package of incentives for Ark Encounter, it’s not clear how much revenue the attraction is bringing to Williamstown.

Jail problems? Nonsense! With all the goodness overflowing from Hambo’s divinely inspired tourist attraction, they shouldn’t even need a jail. This is a ridiculous situation! What Hambo ought to do is pack up and float his ark to a more congenial location.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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13 responses to “City Wants To Tax Ken Ham’s Ticket Sales

  1. I’m amazed that the ticket prices are so high in the first place. Ham will probably take advantage of the situation to raise ticket prices by a whole dollar rather than 50 cents, and blame it on the city while he rakes in the extra dough.

    The city should also look at a number of other taxes while they’re at it. I think they should assess a supplemental property tax sufficient to pay for a new fire station on or near the property. After all, so much wood in a building is bound to be a fire hazard. Maybe they could take some of the Arc land and put up a forestry station with a tower to monitor for fires – at Arc expense, of course.

    The city is on to a good thing, here.

  2. Although the state, county and city governments put together a generous package of incentives for Ark Encounter, it’s not clear how much revenue the attraction is bringing to Williamstown.

    So even Williamstown doesn’t know what the ark park’s attendance figures are as they’ve been carefully hidden by Ham, likely also doesn’t divulge any financial information whatsoever to the city, the State, or the IRS.

  3. Ross Cameron

    Noah`s Ark–Disneyland for the Deluded

  4. “Ark Encounter spokesman Mike Zovath told the newspaper that Ark officials will now have to consider raising ticket prices…”

    Oh the horror! Raising ticket prices from $40 to $40.50!

    On a more serious note, it sounds as though Williamstown is undergoing buyer’s remorse. I bet they’d like that $62 million back.

  5. Ham’s man Zovath is complaining about the “lack of transparency”?

    Hasn’t Ham still not released the attendance figures? Was not Ham the one who used “projected attendance figures” based on numbers given to him by a group whose leader worked on a book with him?

  6. The newspaper’s last paragraph is also a zinger:

    Grant County is facing a severe budget crisis, partly caused by issues at the county jail, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Although the state, county and city governments put together a generous package of incentives for Ark Encounter, it’s not clear how much revenue the attraction is bringing to Williamstown.

    Jail problems? Nonsense! With all the goodness overflowing from Hambo’s divinely inspired tourist attraction, they shouldn’t even need a jail. This is a ridiculous situation! What Hambo ought to do is pack up and float his ark to a more congenial location.

    Or maybe, if the Hamites get their way, they’ll need all the jail space they can seize by eminent domain to lock up the heretics who don’t accept that the Ark Park is based on actual history.

  7. Michael Fugate

    They already have cages in the Ark – maybe that will solve the jail problem…

  8. ” Ark officials have predicted attendance of 600,000 visitors in the first year.”…

    Hey, is that ANOTHER reduction is attendance estimates I see?

    That would be….an average of about 1643 per day. They need 5000+ per day to stay afloat!

  9. Ceteris Paribus

    Hmm. There’s maybe a theme park failure syndrome at play.
    Opryland USA in Tennesee? Gone.
    Dogpatch USA in Arkansas? Gone.
    Heritage USA in South Carolina? Gone.
    Ark Encounter in Kentucky? Well, we will have to wait a bit to see.
    At least maybe Ken Ham may avoid going to Federal prison for fraud, as was the case with Jim Bakker, who perpetrated the Heritage USA fiasco.

  10. What Hambo ought to do is pack up and float his ark to a more congenial location.

    Mount Ararat jumps to mind.

  11. “They need 5000+ per day to stay afloat!”
    Are “stay afloat” appropriate words to apply to Ham’s construction that looks a bit like a boat from one side?

  12. Ha ha ha ha ha. Hambo is finding out the downside of not being a “church”. At least Hambo didn’t say he should be excluded from all taxes.
    As for the $0.50/ticket: This might have the added benefit of revealing Hambo’s attendance.

  13. The construction goes to show the lack of understanding of wooden construction which can serve as a refuge for all of animal life by floating. This is testimony to ignorance about the Bible.
    Why is it that the creationists insist on shooting themselves in the foot?