Bible ministry building Noah's ark tells judge Kentucky can't take away tourism tax incentive

Lawyers for a Christian ministry that's building a Noah's ark theme park in Kentucky say state officials violated First Amendment religious protections when they denied the project a state tax incentive worth millions.

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Answers in Genesis, developer of the 510-foot wooden ark, is suing to get back into the tourism incentive program, which could be worth around $18 million.

The group's lawyers argued Wednesday in federal court in Frankfort that the Christian group should not face different treatment for the incentive just because its theme park will have religious themes.

Kentucky tourism officials say the giant wooden ark would be an evangelism tool and shouldn't receive tax dollars. They are asking that the group's lawsuit be dismissed.

U.S. District Judge Greg Van Tatenhove will issue a ruling later.