A few days ago we reported Hambo May Lose $18 Million Sales Tax Kickback. As you recall, in an effort to evade the safety tax of fifty cents imposed by the city of Williamstown for every admission ticket sold by Ark Encounter, the company sold its main parcel of land — the one with the life-size Noah’s Ark — for $10 to their non-profit parent company, Crosswater Canyon.
That transfer was obviously because the city’s safety tax doesn’t apply to non-profit entities. Smart move! However, Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else, was then informed that because of the transfer, the Kentucky Tourism Arts and Heritage Cabinet decided to suspend an incentive agreement worth up to $18 million in sales tax kick-backs.
Now the Lexington Herald-Leader of Lexington, Kentucky has this headline: After state suspends tax break, Noah’s Ark park transfers land back to for-profit entity. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Three days after state tourism officials suspended an $18 million tax incentive, officials at a Noah’s Ark theme park have sold their main parcel back to their for-profit entity for $10.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Let’s read on:
Ark Encounter officials have declined to say why they sold the property in the first [place], but the move in June coincided with their refusal to pay a safety assessment tax levied by the city of Williamstown. City officials worried that the sale might be the first step in the ark park claiming non-profit status, which would exempt it from property taxes.
Jeepers — could there have been a connection? The newspaper doesn’t speculate about Hambo’s motives, so we won’t either. They tell us:
But on July 18, state tourism officials said the land sale breached the sales tax rebate incentive agreement, which was with Ark Encounter LLC, not Crosswater Canyon. On July 21, the parcel was switched back to Ark Encounter LLC, again for $10.
It could be merely a coincidence. The news continues:
On Monday, Mark Looy, the co-founder of Answers in Genesis, the parent body of both Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum in Petersburg, said the group needed “to keep our options open to protect the organization for the future,” but did not explicitly explain the two property transfers.
Maybe there’s nothing to explain. One last excerpt:
Williamstown Mayor Rick Skinner has said that the city council would like to talk more with Ark officials, but so far, the two sides have not met. … Neither state tourism officials nor Skinner were immediately available for comment on Monday.
Perhaps we’ll never know what motivated the ark’s boomerang transactions. There’s one thing we do know, however — Hambo is motivated only by the holiest of motives, so there must have been a deeply spiritual reason for what happened.
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