A group of private investors and religious organizations is hoping to build a Bible-themed amusement park in Kentucky, complete with a full-size 500-foot-by-75-foot reproduction of Noah’s Ark, a Tower of Babel, and other biblical exhibits on a 800-acre campus outside of Williamstown, KY. Their effort got a shot in the arm yesterday when the state approved $43 million in tax breaks for the project. In addition to the tax incentives, approved unanimously by the state’s tourism board, taxpayers may have to pony up another $11 million to improve a highway interchange near the site.
Naturally, this raises serious questions about the separation of church and state. Americans United for the Separation of Church and State has threatened to sue the state over its promotion of the religious project.
Beyond constitutional issues, the tax breaks for an amusement park come at a time when state leaders are asking residents to sacrifice as they cut important social programs. “The state has gone through eight rounds of budget cuts over the past three years,” including cuts to “education at all levels” and a pay freeze for all teachers and state workers. Meanwhile, the state cut funding for Medicaid by shifting enrollees to managed care plans, which often make it more difficult for enrollees to access care while increasing administrative costs by up to 20 percent by adding a new “layer of bureaucracy between the Medicaid Department and providers.”
File this one under, “More shit that makes me roll my eyes”