I’ve posted before about how Williamstown (Kentucky) officials are instituting a “safety fee” for ticket-taking attractions in the city.
If implemented, the city would charge Ark Encounter 50 cents per ticket to go towards things like fire trucks and police cars — all the things that make the city a safer place for residents and tourists. Using the estimate of 1.4 million visitors a year, this would amount to approximately $700,000 that Ark Encounter would owe the city annually.
The Creationists at Ark Encounter, however, say they should be exempt from that charge because they run a non-profit ministry. You wouldn’t force a church to pay taxes, now, would you?!
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader‘s Linda Blackford, the team behind Ark Encounter recently sold the land on which the giant boat rests for a whopping $10.
… Ark Encounter LLC sold its main parcel of land — the one with the life-size Noah’s Ark — for $10 to their non-profit affiliate, Crosswater Canyon. Although the property is worth $48 million according to the Grant County Property Valuation Administrator, the deed says its value is only $18.5 million.
That’s the latest salvo in an escalating argument between local officials and Ark Encounter, but some are worried Ark Encounter’s maneuver is a precursor to declaring itself exempt from all taxes, including property taxes that help fund Grant County schools.