Kentucky Noah’s Ark Theme Park Passes First Bureaucratic Hurdle
The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority granted preliminary approval for state tax incentives for the Noah’s Ark theme park project. Part of the approvals require the developer to provide an independent economic analysis before $43 million in tax incentives can be awarded.
Backers of the project, which seemingly includes Gov. Beshear, note that the park is projected to create hundreds of permanent and seasonal jobs and bring in 1.6 million visitors a year. Curiously, the Governor cited those figures but had not actually been in possession of the report on which the figures were based according to a FOIA request. That press conference was orchestrated by the backers of the project.
The tax incentives bring into question whether we’re dealing with a church-state issue, and proponents say that the project is worthy of tax incentives because of the jobs that will be created. Opponents note that job hires may hinge on whether applicants have the right kind of religious background (and which may be discriminatory).