Answers in Genesis wins court battle over Noah's Ark tax incentives

by Tom Anstey | 27 Jan 2016

The religious group building a controversial US$120m (€110m, £84m) Old Testament theme park in Kentucky, US, has won a legal battle over the state’s decision to withdraw US$18m (€16.6m, £12.5m) worth of tourism tax credits because of its discriminatory hiring procedure.

The Noah’s Ark-inspired theme park, set to open in Kentucky in July, has come under fire several times since the project’s inception, mainly after the park’s parent company, Answers in Genesis (AiG) refused to hire anyone who doesn’t believe in the biblical flood.

A federal judge ruled on 25 January, that state officials violated the ark builders' First Amendment rights. The judge said that the state could not exclude the attraction based on its "religious purpose and message,” despite its hiring process.

"The state gave us no choice but to bring this legal action," said AiG founder Ken Ham. "We, along with our attorneys, tried for many months to show these officials why their actions were blatantly violating our rights under both federal and state constitutions."

AiG will now be eligible for the tax incentive – a 25 per cent rebate which will be split over the next decade and be used to help fund additional development on the park’s attractions. In addition to the giant ark, the 3.2sq km (1.25sq m) attraction will also feature a recreation of a village prior to the biblical floods, as well as a Tower of Babel housing an audio-visual effects theatre and a ride that will give visitors the chance to explore the 10 plagues of Egypt.

Indiana-based architects Troyer Group have been tasked with building the 510-foot (155-metre) ark according to the dimensions provided in the Bible and in accordance with the nautical engineering practices of the era. The attraction is set to open on 7 July for an initial 40 days and 40 nights.

Answers in Genesis  bible  Noah  Noah's Ark  tax incentives  Jesus  theme park  religion 
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The religious group building a controversial US$120m (€110m, £84m) Old Testament theme park in Kentucky, US, has won a legal battle over the state’s decision to withdraw US$18m (€16.6m, £12.5m) worth of tourism tax credits because of its discriminatory hiring procedure. The Noah’s Ark-inspired theme park, set to open in Kentucky in July, has come under fire several times since the project’s inception, mainly after the park’s parent company, Answers
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