Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Holy Land Experience theme park receives property tax exemption

I read this over at You Made Me Say It and really ticks me off. How does The Holy Land Experience theme park retain its tax exempt status? By offering free admission just one day a year, however, they won’t tell what day is free. The Trinity Broadcast Network which owns the park and the ministry rather not publicize the whole free day deal. And this isn’t a church, is it? It’s an amusement park with a religious theme!

Holy Land free day still a mystery

Holy Land Experience doesn’t want you to know when it schedules its required free day each year out of concern over a possible “uncontrollable situation.”

At least that’s the conclusion to be drawn by a letter the religion-based theme park sent to the office of Orange County Property Appraiser Bill Donegan.

Donegan asked the park for documentation of its free days after I reported earlier this month that the park gave out conflicting information about the day.

Holy Land, owned by Trinity Broadcasting Network, is required to drop its normal $35 ticket price and offer free admission one day each year in exchange for a property-tax exemption that saves it about $300,000 annually, according to a 2006 state law designed to guarantee the exemption.

Pretty sweet deal for TBN, huh?

this legislation smacks of the exact kind of catering to special interests that keeps property off the tax rolls while taxpayers get nothing in return.


Andrea said...

Learning about the ancient world can be really fun and interesting, but this is clearly an amusement park and their tax-exempt status is odd to say the least. It would be nice if they used that 300K for charitable purposes, but I didn't see any mention of that on the park website.

Stardust said...

The problem about this "Holy Land Experience" is that it is mostly reenactments of stories from the Christian mythology book.

Stardust said...

Knowing how churches and most religious organizations operate, the big shots are getting their cut before even considering what to give for charity. They gotta make those payments on their mansions and limosines.

Andrea said...

Have you read William Lobdell's book Losing My Religion? He was a reporter and there's a chapter about how he tried to go behind-the-scenes with some of the TBN personalities and what he encountered there. To their credit, some Christians of conscience left that organization because of their corruption.

Stardust said...

No, I haven't read that book. I will have to see if I can find it.

If they weren't doing anything wrong, they wouldn't have a problem with letting people in to check things out for themselves. They just don't want people to find out what is really going on.

tina FCD said...

Why are churches tax exempt to begin with anyway?

Tommykey said...

Why are churches tax exempt to begin with anyway?

Why Tina, so they can devote more of their money to doing the Lawd's work!