Tax breaks to build an ark? ‘Noah’ way, brother

Our opposition to the Beshear administration’s decision to give tax incentives to ‘The Ark Encounter’ in Northern Kentucky has nothing to do with the religious content of the planned theme park. Instead, it’s about an economic development approach that results in government picking economic “winners” and competitors placed at a distinct disadvantage.

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  1. Maybe there's hope for you yet. There are now 2 progressive issues that we agree on. The first is transparency in government. And now 2, the government giving a tax incentive to build an ark–the fictitious Noah's Ark.

    Government has no business giving religious businesses a bounty (that's what Adam Smith called them), that gives them an economic advantage over a non-religious competitor.

    The issue is further compounded by the violation of the First Amendment's principle of separation of church and state. A tax incentive is in fact a law made respecting an establishment of religion.

  2. The government has no right to give any profit or non-profit entity an economic advantage over another. The government is not supposed to pick winners and losers.

  3. Actually, Hempy, if the state denied benefits based on the religious viewpoint or purpose of the business, that would be unlawful discrimination. As long as the business meets the criteria in the economic development act, there are no grounds for denying it based on its viewpoint.

    The economic advantage conferred is limited to a partial rebate of sales taxes that wouldn't otherwise exist, and is limited in amount (and time, I believe). The state will still get corporate income tax, personal income tax from the employees, sales tax from the business's purchases, and most of the sales tax from the visitors. It will also get tax revenue from the businesses (like hotels & restaurants) likely to spring up around it when it opens.

    Since the "economic advantage" essentially defrays the startup costs, it results in much more revenue to the state than is involved in the rebate.

  4. Eternal Pessimist says:

    The government should not be providing tax breaks for any business, no matter what it is.


  1. […] Unfortunately we see government picking winners and losers all the time in Kentucky and it is not just related to health care. Most recently government chose a “winner”  in the form of providing tax incentives for a new theme park. […]