Kentucky Providing Tax Rebate to Fund Creationist Theme Park
June 1, 2011
The creationist organization Answers in Genesis is planning to construct a $150-$172 million theme park in northern Kentucky, themed around Noah’s Ark, the Tower of Babel, and other Biblical references. To support the project, “Ark Encounter,” Kentucky is providing a sales tax rebate equal to 25% of the project’s capital costs over 10 years, up to $43 million.
From Time magazine:
The proximity of state funds and religion is admittedly a bit dubious, but proponents of this project argue that the state will reap significant economic benefits, especially in terms of job creation. According to Gov. Steve Beshear the park, “is projected to create 600 to 700 full-time jobs and have an economic impact of more than $250 million in its first year of operation.”
Gil Lawson, of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, told Talking Points Memo the law establishing tax incentives is neutral. “We treated this application like any other,” he said. “We cannot discriminate against this project based on any religious criteria.”
The organization constructing the park also operates the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.
Was this page helpful to you?
The Tax Foundation works hard to provide insightful tax policy analysis. Our work depends on support from members of the public like you. Would you consider contributing to our work?Contribute to the Tax Foundation
Let us know how we can better serve you!
We work hard to make our analysis as useful as possible. Would you consider telling us more about how we can do better?Give Us Feedback