No Tax Breaks for Ark Park?

Answers in Genesis famously was given $43 million in tax breaks by the state of Kentucky a few years ago, but according to a local news site in that state those breaks have expired and they have had to reapply for them with a dramatically scaled-down project.

Ark Encounter’s original tax incentive application for potentially $43 million was approved by a Tourism board in May of 2011. This gave them three years to start construction, and whatever Ark Encounter spent on construction, they would be eligible for up to 25 percent of that amount once the park opened in rebates, assuming that the project was an economic success and passed benchmarks. However, that three year period ended this month, and Ark Encounter construction has not yet started, which would mean that they are not eligible for any tax incentives unless they amended or resubmitted an application. And in March, that’s exactly what they did.

Tourism Cabinet spokesman Gil Lawson tells LEO that on March 28, Ark Encounter representatives withdrew their original application for a $172 million project and resubmitted a new application for a dramatically scaled back $73 million project. If this application is approved — and if Ark Encounter is actually built and meets economic benchmarks — they would only be eligible for a maximum of $18.25 million in tax incentives.

But that remains a big “if.” Lawson notes that not all applications for tax incentives make their way to the Tourism board for a vote, and just because an application makes its way to the board doesn’t mean that it will be approved. Lawson says that Ark Encounter’s new application is currently being reviewed by the Tourism Cabinet, and it is still far from being scheduled for a vote. Sometimes this process takes a long time (see: Kentucky Kingdom) and sometimes it happens in record speed (see: Ark Encounter from December of 2010 to May of 2011).

During Ark Encounter’s first inception, Gov. Besehar put his full weight behind it, pushing the project through easily with very little oversight, though much humiliation for the state of Kentucky (see: Dinosaurs on a goddamned boat). LEO asked a Beshear spokesman this afternoon if the governor plans to fully support Ark Encounter’s new application like he did in late-2010 and early-2011, or if he would take another strategy. He said he would give us an answer as soon as he could, and we’ll update this story once that comes to us.

Let’s hope they get denied the second time around.

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  • busterggi

    “However, that three year period ended this month, and Ark Encounter construction has not yet started”

    must’ve been saving their efforts for a rainy day.

  • dingojack

    You mean the ark jumped the shark?

    Dingo

  • Alverant

    Since the business did not complete their side of the bargain, could they be sued for breach of contract?

  • D. C. Sessions

    busterggi, you’re on your way to winning the Modus Prize for today. Unless, of course, the raining champion tops that.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    busterggi, if you win one, cherish your Modus Prize. They’re quite a collector’s item, on account of them being anatomically correct. They’re really quite breathtaking. There’s also a G-rated version. It doesn’t have nearly as much penis.

  • eric

    Just a couple months ago they almost lost their bonds, too. From all public records they were $millions short in the minimum amount of investment money necessary to go forward with issuing the bonds, and then there was a last-minute, secret investor. Some people over at Panda’s Thumb suggested that the secret investor might be AiG itself – the ark park’s parent company – making up the difference so the bonds could still be issued.

    Sounds very much like the whole thing is becoming a financial boondoggle, possibly big enough to take down AiG itself. Maybe they should’ve named it Tower of Babel park. :)

  • dingojack

    Modus* – yes but was it’s butt hand-buffed by Stephen Fry?

    :) Dingo

    ———-

    * I never knew you were precipitating!

  • raven

    Some people over at Panda’s Thumb suggested that the secret investor might be AiG itself – the ark park’s parent company – making up the difference so the bonds could still be issued.

    AFAIK, the secret investor wasn’t secret. It was AIG self dealing. What wasn’t known was how far short they were and how much AIG bought. They probably hope to unload it on the secondary market.

    AIG itself isn’t doing so well. The Pseodomuseum loses money but AIG itself makes money on its propaganda materials.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    “He said he would give us an answer as soon as he could, and we’ll update this story once that comes to us.”

    Sounds like, “never”, to me.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    Six months from now:

    “God told us that he wanted us to go bankrupt.”

  • http://adventuresinzymology.blogspot.com JJ831

    You mean the ark jumped the shark?

    Shit + Ark = Shark?

  • Larry

    No one could have ever foreseen this happening!

  • caseloweraz

    Answers in Genesis famously was given $43 million in tax breaks by the state of Kentucky a few years ago, but according to a local news site in that state those breaks have expired and they have had to reapply for them with a dramatically scaled-down project.

    Presumably that would be something like this:

    http://howdyyall.com/Christmas/Images/Creche.jpg

  • Ichthyic

    dramatically scaled-down project.

    so.. ark in a bottle?

    people will pay to see that, right?

  • Ichthyic

    Since the business did not complete their side of the bargain, could they be sued for breach of contract?

    looks to me like what would happen in case of fail was already built into the contract, so no breach I can see.

    they simply don’t get the tax incentives, which makes perfect sense, since you can’t rebate something that was never spent.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    Back when the Ark Park idea was first being floated, a friend of mine and I decided we could make our own. So I got some plastic dinosaurs and a playmobil “noah’s ark” kit and we set up our own Ark Park:

    http://mjranum.deviantart.com/art/Noah-s-Ark-and-the-Dinos-133280797

  • busterggi

    Modus, “They’re quite a collector’s item, on account of them being anatomically correct. ”

    Your anatomy or mine?

  • dingojack

    caseloweraz – poor old Eeyore. Only one of him!

    :( Dingo

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    busterggi, mine, probably. I’m not sure. I’m not used to seeing it from that angle.

  • http://mostlyrational.net tacitus

    “He said he would give us an answer as soon as he could, and we’ll update this story once that comes to us.”

    Sounds like, “never”, to me.

    Actually, he did, with a “let the application process play out” non-committal answer. Probably bad news for AiG.

  • http://mostlyrational.net tacitus

    If they don’t get a move on, they could end up being beaten to the punch by Kent Hovind. He’s due out of prison early next year, though his five years of probation might hamper his, um, fund raising efforts a little.

  • https://www.facebook.com/adam.achen A Waterchapel

    Modusoperandi@19:

    Are the trophies rarely awarded, or are you a bit like Peter O’Toole?

  • kyoseki

    Compared to the monumental scam that is film industry tax credits, this almost seems like a bargain.

  • grendelsfather

    caseloweraz, that was awesome. I was wondering how to keep all of the various factions of my extended family happy at Christmas time That ought to do it. Or maybe I’ll be the only one happy with it. Either way, I win.

  • John Pieret

    Let’s hope they get denied the second time around.

    I’m ambivalent about that. There’s nothing like seeing politicians shown up as credulous boobs. On the other hand, the poor taxpayers of Kentucky don’t need to have the additional burden. On the third hand the poor taxpayers of Kentucky are likely just the sort to show up at Ham’s Monument to Ignorance.

    Decisions, decisions …

  • http://www.facebook.com/home8896 pyrabarnes

    I haven’t spent a dime on any of their crap, beyond what the state takes. I won’t spend a dime on anything, if I can help it. I want that creation church (I refuse to call it a museum) to be abandoned. However, in living in the area, I notice it has become a “mecca” of sorts. Seriously. A guy was wandering the store with a backpack a couple weeks ago. Our bus system sucks, so I thought he maybe missed the last bus and needed to wait for the morning bus. Happens sometimes. When he was done resting, though, he made sure to tell me he was hiking to the museum. The distance is actually quite far. That’s a long way to walk. I didn’t ask where he was from. I really just didn’t want to talk about the creation thing. People who are apathetic just want the money these people bring in. They don’t care if it comes from scamming people with religious leanings. I think that’s why Beshear supported it. This isn’t exactly the a state known for the money just falling into our laps. *hence my job working third shift cashiering…

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    A Waterchapel “Modusoperandi@19: Are the trophies rarely awarded…”

    They’re annual, but to get to the ceremony you have to solve thirteen devious accounting riddless, each one more complicated and less interesting than the one before. No one’s made it past the third one. Not even the accountants.

     

    “…or are you a bit like Peter O’Toole?”

    Student at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, author, stage and film actor, deceased…we’re quite a bit alike.

  • dingojack

    Rugby fan, bon-vivant and monumental drinker.

    Yep, a spitting image MO.

    :) Dingo

  • Nick Gotts

    Come on now, AiG! Did Noah need tax breaks to build the original? And he had several million animals to feed, and couldn’t expect a lot in the way of paying visitors.

  • Nick Gotts

    Marcus Ranum@16,

    Well that’s more than AiG has achieved, and at least as realistic as anything they are ever likely to build!

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    “Come on now, AiG! Did Noah need tax breaks to build the original? And he had several million animals to feed, and couldn’t expect a lot in the way of paying visitors.”

    We know little about Noah (such as,. did he exist) but we do know that he would have been a democrat. A bleeding heart liberal, at that. How do we know this?

    It’s quite simple. He built an ark to carry his family and to 2 of each animal (with natural variance, 10% or so would have been gay), took them aboard, fed and sheltered them for the period of the deluge and its immediate aftermath and then turned them loose.

    If he had been a republican he would have had a stock offering, built the ark with other people’s money, gotten tax credits for the “conservation” aspect and then when it was finished, announced that using it for animal rescue would be a violation of his fiduciary responsible to investors (who might very well be “under water” at that point) and sell berths to those who had the “Gilgies*”. After the flood he would have had a big barbecue and sold them all lots on the slopes of Mt. Ararat.

    * Local currency with a portrait of Gilgamesh on the obverse and the words “In Anu and Ishtar we trust”