A Federal judge ruled yesterday that the Ark Park is entitled to sales tax incentives that had been denied by the state of Kentucky, according to an article by Dylan Lovan. Briefly, District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove ruled that the state cannot exclude the Ark Park from receiving the tax incentive simply because the park has a religious purpose. Further, although Mr. Lovan does not note it, the judge opined that the Ark Park is within its rights to discriminate in employment on the basis of religion (and still receive the tax incentive), because it is clearly a religious organization.
Americans United, in a blog post, called the ruling “radical” and argued that Kentucky would have had a good chance of winning on appeal, based on a 2004 Supreme Court decision, Locke vs. Davey, wherein the court gave states “discretion to exclude religious programs from otherwise neutral funding schemes.” The ruling is unlikely to be appealed, according to the Associated Press, because the newly elected Republican governor is “pleased” with the decision.
Thanks to Dan Phelps for the tip and for the transcript of the Judge’s ruling.