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On a website called Public Policy Polling, it was stated that “PPP surveyed 600 likely Kentucky voters from August 25th to 28th. The margin of error for the survey is +/-4.0%. This poll was not paid for or authorized by any campaign or political organization. PPP surveys are conducted through automated telephone interviews. PPP is a Democratic polling company, but polling expert Nate Silver of the New York Times found that its surveys in 2010 actually exhibited a slight bias toward Republican candidates.”
In its preliminary comments, PPP refers to one of the poll questions asked of Kentuckians and states, “There has been some controversy, mostly from the left, over Gov. Steve Beshear approving state funds to build the Ark Encounter, a theme park featuring a life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark. But 59% of the state’s voters oppose their tax dollars going toward the park, and only 26% support it. Independents are most opposed, 17–72, joining Democrats (23-62) and even Republicans (34–51).”
Now, when you read the question that was asked, you realize that not only did the PPP ask the wrong question, it actually made a false statement in its question and in the summary referred to above. Here is what it wrote concerning question seven in the poll:
Q7 Do you support or oppose taxpayer funds going to build the Ark Encounter, a theme park featuring a life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark?So what is wrong with this question? Simply that it is wrong to claim that “taxpayers funds” are “going to build the Ark Encounter”! The Ark Encounter, a for-profit company, filed for a tax incentive under the Kentucky Tourism Development Act to bring more tourism to the state. An independent study by the Kentucky government was carried out and it was recommended that Ark Encounter receive this tax incentive—which is a rebate on sales tax generated by the park and from only within the park—just as any other for-profit company could.
Support taxpayer funds going toward it........... 26% Oppose it ........................................................ 59% Not sure .......................................................... 14%
You know what? Based on the survey’s wording, I would have told pollsters that I opposed the Ark project’s funding!
It is interesting to note that the Kentucky Speedway (a racetrack) not only received this same tax incentive, but recently was granted an extension to receive these sales tax rebates for another 10 years. Why is it that the poll didn’t ask if Kentucky taxpayers supported that incentive? Why is it that the Ark Encounter is singled out? Is it because the Ark Encounter is a Christian theme park, and much of the media is so anti-Christian (especially the two largest newspapers in the state), that the truth about this park and the incentives have been grossly distorted? If anything, the question and the results of the polling question illustrate that the left-wing media have brainwashed people into believing a lie about the tax incentive program—the best state incentive program in the nation!
Note in its summary, PPP states, “There has been some controversy, mostly from the left, over Gov. Steve Beshear approving state funds to build the Ark Encounter, a theme park featuring a life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark. But 59% of the state’s voters oppose their tax dollars going toward the park . . .”
What a highly misleading statement. Not only will the Ark Encounter add millions of dollars in funds to the State, but the project doesn't take from the state funds. The Ark Encounter receives a percentage rebate of sales tax generated within the park, and as a result of the park being built, thousands of jobs will be generated and millions of dollars injected into the State treasury and local economy! Also, taxpayers will not have their “tax dollars going toward the park.” This is just plain wrong! No one's tax dollars (state or federal) go to the park. Again, the incentive is a rebate on sales tax generated within the park!
Let me put it another way. In fact, let me put it in words that even a child can understand. I do this in the hope that perhaps the secular media and those behind this polling organization may actually be willing (depending on how strong their anti-Christian agenda is) to acknowledge the truth:
No taxpayer funds will be used to build the park—none! No taxpayer funds will be used for any part of the construction—none! No taxpayer funds will be used to subsidize the park—none! The park is totally (that means 100 percent) privately funded. No taxpayer funds contribute to any of the private funding—none!
While the park is under construction, please be aware that millions of dollars will be injected into the economy. During construction and after the Ark Encounter is opened, people will be employed and the state will receive money from taxes, payroll taxes, etc. Construction workers will stay in hotels and buy items in the area, and taxes for the state will be generated. Once the park is completed (and it will be totally—that means 100 percent—paid for by this for-profit company), it will open its doors. Millions will come to the park over the years. As they come, visitors will buy goods including gas for their cars, many will stay in hotels, and visitors will pay for flights and rental cars etc. etc. Hundreds will be employed within the park and hundreds more (in fact thousands) of other jobs related to tourism will be created. In addition, all these people employed will pay taxes. Visitors who come to the park will pay taxes at hotels and also as they purchase other items.
Now, within the park, those who come will pay sales tax on items. The Kentucky Tourism Development Act, in an effort to attract companies to build in Kentucky so they can generate funds for the local economy and the state, allows for (if the company qualifies according to strict rules) a percentage rebate on sales tax generated within the park after it opens for 10 years. This money goes to those groups who privately funded it as a return on their investment—it is the government’s way (and it is a brilliant concept) of attracting such groups to invest in Kentucky.
I repeat: no taxpayer funds are used in any way for the construction of the park. And not only that, but the independent study that was commissioned by the Kentucky government to find out if the Ark Encounter qualified for this tourism tax incentive was paid for by the Ark Encounter. In fact, no taxpayer funds were used for the independent study—none.
In summary and to be crystal clear:
1. The Ark Encounter LLC (a for-profit group) will fund the entire project. No state funds will be used to build or operate the Ark Encounter. The tax incentives will not be a grant from state funds to help build the Ark Encounter; no money will come out of someone else's pocket; no funds will be taken from the state budget and away from state programs (e.g., social services, schools, etc.) to help build and/or operate the Ark Encounter.
2. The only taxpayers to pay any taxes related to the operation of the Ark Encounter will be the Ark Encounter visitors themselves. They will pay sales tax at the attraction (e.g., on tickets, food, and merchandise), and at the end of each year of operation, the state will rebate a portion of the sales tax to the Ark Encounter LLC based on meeting attendance-performance standards.
Now, the above explanation is so different from what so many in the secular media are claiming, and what the atheists are declaring on websites and blogs. And this is so different from what this Public Policy Polling website has claimed! So if it really is that simple—and no taxpayer funds are being used for the construction of this park—and the park will generate millions of dollars for the state of Kentucky—then why are these blatantly false claims being made? I suggest it is because Ark Encounter happens to be a Christian park with a Christian theme.
So whatever happened to the First Amendment in all this? If you recall, the amendment prohibits the making of any law “respecting an establishment of religion” and impeding the “free exercise of religion.” “Free exercise of religion”? I think that’s been interpreted these days by the media and secular humanists as “free exercise of religion—except for Christianity, which we cannot allow!”
Now, what is the point of reading such an unreliable poll? You can if you want at the link below, but if question seven is so falsely worded, and incorrectly reported on—how can one trust any part of this poll? This certainly illustrates that PPP is not a trustworthy poll site at all—but someone’s propaganda machine, which appears to have an anti-Christian bias.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.