AiG seeks tax incentives from the state of Kentucky for Noah’s Ark theme park.

Ok, I know I said I’m taking a personal day, and I am, but there are two more things I have to post (and the next one won’t take but a minute).  But first this.

Answers in Genesis want to build a theme park in Kentucky to evangelize to mostly children, since it turns out that getting kids to believe in things like Jesus and Santa Claus is easier than getting adults with fully developed brains and educations to buy it.  They’ve asked three people/groups to help fund the park: Jesus, other Christians, and the Kentucky state government.

Christians gave several millions of dollars.  Jesus gave nothing, big surprise there.  So in lieu of Jesus’ complete and utter lack of participation (but make no mistake, he endorses this), it’s all up to the state of Kentucky, which seems primed to deliver:

Ark Encounter will return to Frankfort on Tuesday to seek — for a second time — state approval of tax incentives for its proposed Noah’s Ark theme park in Grant County.

Three years ago, the group won approval of incentives for its entire $172.5 million project, but because of funding problems it withdrew that application and now is seeking approval for a $73 million first phase of the biblical theme park.

And it expects preliminary approval Tuesday from the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority and plans to break ground next month.

“We can begin construction as soon as we get preliminary approval,” said Mike Zovath, Ark Encounter’s project coordinator. “And we expect to get that because the project fits all the criteria for the tourism act.”

Ark Encounter is applying to participate in a program that allows eligible tourism attractions a rebate of 25 percent of the sales tax they collect on admission tickets, souvenirs, food and other things over 10 years. For this application the rebates would be as much as $18.25 million.

I’m sure the state of Kentucky would love the revenue, but it can’t give government money to a group to help them evangelize, even if the group is willing to give the state a kick back.  If the state consents they ought to be sued back to the stone age (where, it should be noted, they will still not find an ark).

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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