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State gives preliminary approval to tax incentives for Ark Park

July 29, 2014 | | Comments Comments

By Jack Brammer

jbrammer@herald-leader.com

FRANKFORT — A group that wants to build a Noah’s Ark theme park in Grant County won preliminary approval Tuesday of state tax incentives to keep the controversial project afloat.

The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority unanimously voted to give preliminary approval for tax incentives for a $73 million first phase of the biblical theme park.

An independent consultant for the state now will take about six to eight weeks to review the project. It then will come back to the state panel for final consideration of tax incentives.

Three years ago, the group – Ark Encounter — won approval of incentives for its entire $172.5 million project. But because of funding problems, it withdrew that application and now is seeking approval for $73 million.

Ark Encounter is applying to participate in a program that allows eligible tourism attractions a rebate of 25 percent of the investment of the project. For this application, the rebates would be as much as $18.25 million.

The park is expected to open in the summer of 2016.

Filed Under: State Government

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