The developer of a Noah’s Ark-based theme park in Kentucky said recently he will only hire people who believe in the biblical flood. But state officials have said the developer could lose millions in potential tax credits if he does.
Ark Encounter is set to open in 2016 in Williamston, Kentucky. The theme park isn’t hiring yet, but its parent company Answers in Genesis does ask that employees sign a faith statement when they are hired.
"We're hoping the state takes a hard look at their position, and changes their position so it doesn't go further than this," Ark Encounter's Executive President Mike Zovath told Reuters.
Earlier this year, Ark Encounter received approval to collect a rebate from a portion of the sales tax revenues generated at the park. Over 10 years, that tax credit could be worth about $18 million.
Still, state officials say if the theme park requires employees to affirm their beliefs, that could be seen as discriminatory.
"We expect all of the companies that get tax incentives to obey the law," Gil Lawson, communications director for the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, said.
Publication date: October 13, 2014