Kentucky House Speaker: Ark Tax Incentives Unconstitutional

Jul 31, 2014

A 510-foot replica of "Noah's Ark" is planned for the Ark Encounter attraction in Grant County.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo believes the state is not following the law by providing tax incentives for a Noah’s Ark theme park in northern Kentucky. 

In a news conference this week in his Capitol office, Stumbo predicted the issue will wind up in court.  As a lawyer and former attorney general, Stumbo believes the state is violating the separation of church and state as mandated in the U.S. Constitution. 

The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority this week gave preliminary approval to as much as $18 million in tax breaks for the first phase of the Ark Encounter which is scheduled to open in 2016 in Grant County.  Project Coordinator Mike Zovath told the Lexington Herald-Leader the state is not promoting a religion with the incentives and it’s purely an economic issue.

The project is affiliated with Answers in Genesis, which developed and operates the Creation Museum in Boone County.