Ark Encounter Sued for Alleged Undervalued Property

The Grant County School Board claims it has missed out on $470,000 in property taxes because property occupied by Biblical theme park Ark Encounter has been undervalued.

Aug 27, 2019 at 2:45 pm
Ark Encounter - Provided
Ark Encounter

A Northern Kentucky religious theme park is allegedly worth far more than it has appraised at, the Grant County Board of Education claims in a lawsuit.

The suit first reported by the Louisville Courier-Journal alleges that Ark Encounter, a replica of Noah's Biblical ark in Williamstown, is worth roughly 2.7 times what the Grant County Property Valuation Administrator estimated in 2017, meaning the board of education missed out on an additional $470,000 in revenues from property taxes. 

The board says in its lawsuit it used documents from Ark Encounter owners themselves to fix the property's true value at $130 million — much higher than the $48 million the Grant County PVA assessed. The board appealed the PVA's assessment in 2018 but was turned down by the county's board of assessment appeals and the state's claims commission. The school board is now seeking to challenge the assessment of Ark Encounter's property in court. 

Ark Encounter parent company Answers in Genesis says it has paid the property tax assessed by the PVA as required by law. Attorneys for Answers in Genesis filed a motion to dismiss the school board's suit July 23.