The group that owns the theme park Ark Encounter have sold the park to their nonprofit affiliates for 10 dollars to avoid paying taxes, according to a report Monday by theLexington Herald-Leader. The Christian theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky is owned by creationist Ken Ham and features a life-sized recreation of Noah’s Ark.
Ark Encounter LLC sold the park’s land on June 28 to its nonprofit affiliate, Crosswater Canyon, for ten dollars, just a day before the city sent a letter rejecting the organization’s request to be exempted from a new safety tax because of its religious affiliation.
By selling the land to its nonprofit counterpart, the group has claimed that the park is a non-profit establishment and not subject to the new safety tax passed by city officials. The safety tax, if implemented by the city, would collect 50 cents of every entry ticket sold on $40 adult tickets and $28 children’s tickets. The theme park pulls in an estimated 1.4 million visitors a year, which, when the safety tax was imposed, means the company would owe the city of Williamstown approximately $700,000. – The International Business Times
Ark Encounter went through a multi-year negotiation process to get state and local tax incentives approved, including an $18 million sales tax rebate, and a tax increment financing deal that gives them back 75 percent of property taxes due on the increase in land assessments for 30 years.
When Jesus was asked whether his followers should pay taxes, he said:
“Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”
He didn’t say, use deceitful tricks to avoid paying Caesar.