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Floundering Ark Encounter seeks to avoid new safety tax

Floundering Ark Encounter seeks to avoid new safety tax

Ken Ham’s $100-million white dinosaur, the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky, says it has been ‘blindsided’ by a recently implemented safety assessment tax introduced to upgrade emergency response equipment in the city.

Ark Encounter bigwigs, according to this report, are basically saying: “You can’t tax us because we’re a religious organisation”, and are demanding that it be exempt from the tax  – one that does not apply to non-profit, religious, and charitable events and organisations.

But Williamstown officials are saying that’s bollocks because the Ark Encounter is a for-profit business. Williamstown Mayor Rick Skinner, above, said:

We’ve done our research … and everything that we have found is that they are a for-profit company.

A letter sent to Williamstown officials by John E Pence, Secretary General for Answers in Genesis, insists that the Ark Encounter was organised exclusively for religious purposes, and is solely owned and operated by Crosswater Canyon, a Kentucky non-profit corporation which is recognised as a tax-exempt religious organization and public charity. The letter says:

Both Ark Encounter and Crosswater Canyon are clearly religious organizations. The Ark Encounter project was designed to factually present the biblical and historical truths of the Bible, including the biblical accounts of Noah and the Ark, the message of salvation through Jesus Christ, and other biblical truths revealed in Scripture, through the Ark’s exhibits and guest experiences.

Crosswater Canyon was organized exclusively to support the religious mission and purposes of Answers in Genesis, and to own and manage the Ark Encounter for Answers in Genesis

Answers in Genesis co-founder and Chief Communications Officer Mark Loony … er … Looy, above, said that visitors to the Ark Encounter clearly recognise it as a religiously run attraction with a religious purpose, and that the organisation filed the appeal because they feel the business should be exempt.

We simply applied for the exemption that is allowed under the specific wording of the safety assessment fee ordinance as it was adopted, as you would expect other exempted organizations to do.

Skinner and the other Williamstown City Council members voiced their disagreement with the exemption request. City Attorney Jeff Shipp said the organisation’s corporate filings in Missouri indicate that they are a for-profit corporation and that he would craft a formal response to the appeal sometime in the coming week.

The tax collects a 50-cent charge on tickets in admission-based businesses within Williamstown, and currently affects only three businesses: the Ark Encounter, Williamstown Family Fun Park and Main Street Gardens.

In April, the Ark Encounter proprietors said they were “blindsided” by the tax and that they might consider raising ticket prices.

When asked what the organisation planned to do should their exemption request be denied, Looy said:

We are still considering our options.

Answers in Genesis Co-Founder Mike Zovath met with Skinner on June 27 to discuss solutions to the issue, but no agreement was reached.

Even if AiG wins this concession, it still has a long way to go to stay afloat. So far it’s proving to be a colossal failure, and Ken Ham, above, is blaming secular naysayers. This from a recent AiG blog post:

Recently, a number of articles in the mainstream media, on blogs, and on well-known secularist group websites have attempted to spread propaganda to brainwash the public into thinking our Ark Encounter attraction is a dismal failure. Sadly, they are influencing business investors and others in such a negative way that they may prevent Grant County, Kentucky, from achieving the economic recovery that its officials and residents have been seeking …

Why so many lies and misinformation? Simply because we are in a spiritual battle, and the intolerant secularists are so upset with such world-class attraction like the Ark (and Creation Museum) that publicly proclaim a Christian message. They will resort to whatever tactics they deem necessary to try to malign the attractions.

That’s not quite true. Why, just a few months ago The Humanist praised this ship of fools:

The whole experience is impressive as well as aesthetically appealing. It would be hard to find another place where pseudoscience is packaged with such glittering polish on such a colossal scale.

Despite being clearly pissed off, Ham is grasping at an every-cloud-has-a-silver-lining straw:

Of course, negative reporting and commentary result in more advertising for our facilities! As I witness all this opposition and see such opposition backfiring, I am reminded again of what Joseph declared and how it applies to us today: ‘As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.’ (Genesis 50:20).

A tip to Ham: don’t allow people to video your ark. If folk can get a virtual tour of it on YouTube, they’re sure as hell ain’t gonna fork out $40.00 for a ticket to visit the thing – even if it does have “biblical” security cameras and air conditioning.

20 responses to “Floundering Ark Encounter seeks to avoid new safety tax”

  1. Robster says:

    Deep inside the Boaty McArkface, Ken is in conference with the cabal behind this thing, with only one word needed: F’Ark!

  2. Paul says:

    I would love to see the part of the place that ‘was designed to factually present the biblical and historical truths of the Bible and answers in genisis’ that deals with Genisis 19 where Lots daughters in their cave, both get him drunk, fuck him and get pregnant then found new whole races of people.

  3. Angela_K says:

    We should also note that Kentucky has signed a law allowing schools to teach lessons using the bible.

    P.Z. Myers visited Ham’s ludicrous ark and as you’d expect, found the whole thing tacky and laughable. You’ll find his report on Pharyngula.

  4. John says:

    The devil is trying to close down the truth, as he has been attempting to do for the last 6,000 years – but he won’t succeed.

  5. tonye says:

    I have heard, from a reliable source, that they could use the power of prayer to raise the money.

    I’m sure they will have no problems after that.

  6. Paul says:

    John
    Please defIne devil as I have no clue what your comment is.

    And the word truth.
    What is the truth exactly ?

  7. Barry Duke says:

    @ Paul: No point in asking “John” – aka Bob Hutton – a question. The foul little pervert is an Internet troll who never responds to questions. I have banned him.

  8. Paul says:

    Barry
    Many Thanks – well I rather thought it might be one of ‘blobs’ disciples – hence my query to garner an explanation.
    Nice troll link!

  9. CJ Klok says:

    Did they not argue during their fundraising period (based on tax payer money) that they’re non-religious and should therefore be allowed the funding? Now they say the exact opposite.
    I think the officials should take them at their word. discount them from this safety tax, but demand a full refund of their ill-gotten start-up funding. Give the tax payer back their stolen money.

  10. Tim says:

    Fake News as usual from you fools.

  11. Gui says:

    “Genisis 19 where Lots daughters in their cave, both get him drunk, fuck him and get pregnant then found new whole races of people.”

    But the question is: how a man can got so drunk to the point of even not recognize his own daughters but not so much to get an erection and engages in sexual intercourse with them?

  12. barriejohn says:

    Gui: Maybe it didn’t really happen!

  13. Brian Jordan says:

    @CJ Klock
    Exactly! And no visits from public schools, either.

  14. Gui says:

    Barriejohn: and plus, this story like the one of Noah and his son Ham serves very well as a justification for the happenings in Joshua to forward.

  15. Infidel753 says:

    Gui: With God, all things are possible 🙂 Might be an interesting question to put to Ken Ham & Co, though.

  16. barriejohn says:

    Gui is correct in his latest comment. These sibling rivalries etc are a very convenient excuse for the tribal and racial hatred that is so blatantly justified in the Old Testament (the holy writings of a Canaanite tribe which struggled for the hegemony in that region, and had no association with Egypt – or “Ur of the Chaldees” in all probability!).

  17. Gui says:

    Barriejohn: ah, and there is too the story of the twins Esau and Jacob, where the predestination to favor the last one was used to justificate the deceiving tricks against the first one.

  18. […] The move followed a decision by Williamstown not to exempt Ham’s biblical theme park from paying a safety fee that would fund necessary emergency services for the city. […]

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