Monday, July 24, 2017

Quick Update: Ark Tax Battle and Cost of Protecting Religious 'Sensibilities'

Saw this article on The Spectrum: "The Chatter: Ark Encounter could lose $18M state tax incentives, judge orders state to pay $224K in same-sex marriage legal battle" and had a small laugh.  I guess it's more a laugh of hope than humor, hope that the State of Kentucky can find a way off the path that leads back to back to the Dark Ages.

Kentucky has a chance of taking back at least some of the incentives little kennie ham conned them out of by trying to be both a for-profit business and a non-profit ministry.  In addition, the State lost a same-sex marriage case, you know the one Kim Davis embroiled them in, so the taxpayers are out another $224,000.
First up, ark park taxes:

"The letter from Tourism’s general counsel B. Leigh Powers said the ark had several violations of the state agreement, including a failure to tell the agency of any change in ownership or get prior written consent to transfer assets. In addition, the agreement stipulated that the tax incentive, approved by the Tourism Development Finance Authority, was made for Ark Encounter."
Yes, the State is saying that by selling the land ($48 million value for $10) from a for-profit to a non-profit) the agreement for the sales tax rebate, worth about $18,000,000 has been violated and the sale tax rebate is suspended.  Little kennie, and his lawyers, have 30 days to fix things or they are out the rebate.

Now you and I know kennie isn't going to let a little thing like an agreement stand in his way to at least $18 million dollars, so he will try and figure a way around it.  I am sure his lawyers are working hard to find a loophole, one the overly-pandering politicians will probably jump through with him.  But it is nice seeing Kentucky at least tugging at kennie's theological noose around their necks.

I'm sure kennie will write this up as another example of his imaginary Christian Persecution Complex, regardless of the actual facts.  Fact: kennie wanted the state incentives, so he formed a for-profit business.  Fact:  kennie didn't want to pay the local emergency services tax on entertainment tickets, so he claimed to be a religious non-profit.  Fact:  The locality didn't buy it and now the state isn't either -- so forget the incentives!  I, for one, like facts.
The Far Corner Cafe had this terrific image:
Wish I had thought of that analogy myself!

The article also mentioned this:
"U.S. District Judge David Bunning awarded attorneys representing a pair of same-sex couples $222,695 who sued Davis in 2015 plus $2,008 in other expenses, the AP reported.
Bunning ruled at the state was liable for the expenses, not Rowan County or Davis personally, writing that she represented the commonwealth in her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples."
The State is planning to appeal, but I'm not sure who they plan on blaming for this fiasco.  A State employee refuses to do her job and, while initially held accountable, the State backed off and changed the law to let her get away with it.  Yes, the State should be held accountable, as should the county and Kim Davis herself, but the ultimate responsibility lies with the State of Kentucky.  Pay up, guys!  Dock some of it from Kim's paycheck for not doing her job if you have to, but it's time to pay for your sins.

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