Ky. ministry says state’s denial of tax break “unlawful”

A lawyer for the Christian ministry building a wooden ark attraction in Kentucky says the state committed “an unlawful action” by rescinding a tax rebate benefit worth about $18 million.

Answers in Genesis released an online video Tuesday in which the group’s founder Ken Ham says they will sue the state in federal court over the tax benefit. The lawsuit has not been filed.

In December, the state withdrew the tax benefit for the Ark Encounter, a Noah’s ark-themed park with a 500-foot long wooden ship. State tourism officials say the group changed the mission of the project from tourist attraction to ministry.

Kentucky’s tourism secretary said last year that the ark project is not eligible for the incentives because employees would be screened on the basis of religion.

Mike Johnson, a lawyer for Answers in Genesis, says in the video that Kentucky officials were wrong to block the group from the rebate program.

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