Thursday, December 11, 2014

In Reversal, Kentucky Denies Tax Incentives To Noah's Ark Theme Park

The Louisville Courier-Journal reported yesterday that Kentucky's Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet has now turned down a request by a proposed Noah's Ark theme park for $18 million in sales tax rebate incentives, despite earlier preliminary approval of the request. The state says that Ark Encounter has changed it position on hiring and now intends to discriminate in hiring on the basis of religion. The state also says that the park has evolved from a tourist attraction into a project to promote a literal reading of the Biblical book of Genesis. The state's Tourism Secretary said:
State tourism tax incentives cannot be used to fund religious indoctrination or otherwise be used to advance religion.
Attorneys for Ark Encounter say that federal and state law allow it, as a religious institution, to hire on the basis of religion, and that refusing to allow it to participate in tax incentives amounts to unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination. They say they will have no choice but to sue. (See prior related posting.)