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.
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