Seems Answers in Genesis hasn’t found many Answers in Kentucky…at least as far as tax credits are concerned. While religious institutions have long been taking advantage of tax exemption to make money, the $170 million Ark Encounter theme park planned for construction in Kentucky may not get the tax breaks its founders are used to. Unless they’re willing to hire
The $18 million in tax incentives offered to AIG (the eternal insurance company) for building the Ark Experience have been controversial from the day the Kentucky Tourism Department gave preliminary approval for them in July. These kind of tax breaks are pretty typical for those looking to build attractions, on the basis that they make for jobs and tourism dollars. Such sites are rewarded a 25 percent sales tax rebate.
However, that tax credit has since been put on hold…because of a job application.
The application for a computer design artist was found on AIG’s site and sent along to the state by Americans United for the Separation of Church and state. The application for The Ark Experience was pretty standard, except for two little requirements:
A letter of “Salvation Testimony,” and a “Creation Belief Statement.”
Tourism Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Bob Stewart said that such a job posting would violate Kentucky’s state and federal hiring laws.
“Therefore we are not prepared to move forward with consideration of the application for final approval without the assurance of Ark Encounter LLC that it will not discriminate in any way on the basis of religion in hiring for the project and will revise its postings accordingly.”
A couple days later, Ark Encounter attorney James Parsons
lied backpedaled by saying the posting was for AIG, not The Ark Encounter. Stewart called him out on it though, stating that the application was explicitly for the Ark Encounter. Ouch. Stewart gave AIG an out, though. The department will require
“…express written assurance from Ark Encounter that it will not discriminate in any way on the basis of religion in hiring for the project.”
They also required AIG revise all job postings to comply.
Answers in Genesis hasn’t responded as yet, but they’re expected to. Like most religious fundamentalists, profit for Ken Ham comes well before principle; expect Satan leading the Noah’s Ark tour soon.
Follow me, Damned Ssssoul…to the Lord’s Concessssion Ssstand…