Our ever-vigilant operative in Kentucky, code-named “Bluegrass,” sent us this item which appears in the Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky (not far from ol’ Hambo’s Creation Museum). Their headline tells the tale: Ark Encounter sued by a Kentucky board of education for undervalued property. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
The Grant County Board of Education has sued Ark Encounter and the county’s property valuation administrator for undervaluing the life-size replica of Noah’s Ark in Northern Kentucky. This undervalued property has allowed Ark Encounter to underpay taxes owed to the board, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in the Grant Circuit Court on July 1.
Is it possible that Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else — hasn’t been paying enough taxes? He’s the spiritual and intellectual force who created not only Answers in Genesis (AIG), his creationist ministry, but also the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum, and the exact replica of Noah’s Ark known as Ark Encounter. How can such a great man be accused of such a shabby thing as underpaying his taxes?
But, incredible though it seems, that’s the accusation. The newspaper says:
For the 2017 tax year, the Grant County PVA assessed Ark Encounter’s property at $48,068,200. However, the board challenged this number in a 2018 appeal to the Grant County Board of Assessment Appeals. Using statements and documents generated by Ark Encounter, the board said the property has a true fair cash value of $130 million, which is more than 2.7 times the original valuation.
Shocking. Absolutely shocking. The newspaper explains:
Ark Encounter paid the board $275,911.47 for the 2017 tax year. But if the property had been valued higher, the board said that it would have gotten approximately $746,200 from Ark Encounter — which is more than $470,000 of what it actually received.
Who’s being greedy here — the school board or ol’ Hambo? In due course, all will be revealed. Meanwhile, the newspaper tells us:
Melany Ethridge, a spokeswoman for Ark Encounter’s parent company, Answers in Genesis, said that the company has no comment “other than to say that as required by law, we have been faithfully paying our property taxes each year as assessed by the county’s PVA, and these monies have greatly benefited the school district.”
We’re also told:
Meanwhile, Ark Encounter filed a motion to dismiss this lawsuit on July 23.
It may seem that we’re terribly late in posting about this, but the newspaper’s story is dated 27 August, which is yesterday. Were it not for Bluegrass, we still wouldn’t know about it.
Anyway, that’s the news, so now we’ll wait and see if Hambo has to fork over more money to the local school board. It seems to us that they should be paying him for bringing his glorious enterprises to their county. We’ll keep you advised of any significant developments.
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