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Bible Park bill passes another committee

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The bill that would allow Rutherford County officials to offer developers a special tax incentive package to help secure the proposed Bible Park USA is still waiting approval from the state Legislature.

The Senate bill sponsored by Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) is waiting to be heard by the full Senate as of Tuesday afternoon. The House bill sponsored by Rep. Curt Cobb (D-Shelbyville) passed through the State and Local Government Committee Tuesday and is waiting to be placed on the calendar of the Finance, Ways and Means Committee.

The earliest the bill could be heard by that committee is May 30.

SafeHarbor Holding, a New York-based developer, has proposed building a $200 million historical amusement park on more than 200 acres of undeveloped property near state Route 840 and Interstate 24 in the Blackman community of western unincorporated Murfreesboro. The park would create between 200 and 300 professional jobs and as many as 1,200 seasonal jobs.

Rutherford County economic development officials are hoping to offer the developer tax increment financing to secure the park. This would cause the county to forgo some of its initial property taxes and local-option sales taxes revenues on the improved property to secure the park.

TIF is a method a developer can use to pay down the debt on its capital investment by using a portion of additional taxes created through increased property taxes due to property improvements and local-option sales taxes. A special tax district for the specific project would have to be created.

Read more from:
Bible Park, Business, General Assembly, Real Estate, SafeHarbor Holding
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Members Opinions:
May 22, 2007 at 12:00am
Email your Rutherford County represenative.

May 22, 2007 at 12:00am
WE DON'T WANT IT... We moved to a residential area because we didn't want to be by Theme parks, and everything it brings with it. There must be other areas that are not residential that would be just as good. Look a little harder. No matter what we say I'm sure this is a done deal. We the people really do not have any say as to what comes in our community. Blackman has to fight against being annexed and now we have to fight to keep our community residential.
Why don't the reps from Shelbyville sponsor this for their backyards. A Blackman resident who is against the Bible Theme Park.
May 22, 2007 at 12:00am
I agree with tncampers. I bet if this Bible Theme park was to move to their back yard,it wouldn't happen. For those city and county officials who are for it, I bet they dont live anywhere near this park! I'd rather put a police substation in the Blackman area.
Concerned resident of Blackman
May 22, 2007 at 12:00am
Frankly, I must admit to more than a healthy bit of skepticism about this theme park and its backers. I want more information about the people who are proposing this park and what kind of guarantees they are offering that the park will be developed as described. This whole project seems to been accepted without the necessary due diligence needed to make sure this is no scam. And what about holding hearings or making presentations before the people who would be most affected by the project, the residents of the Blackman community.
May 22, 2007 at 12:00am
we do not need this theme park. Let some other community have it.
May 22, 2007 at 12:00am
If our state representatives put this much effort into an Adequate Facilities Tax which would have growth pay for growth than we would have had by now and perhaps would not have to worry about our property taxes going up this year. Instead, they want to focus on special tax breaks for a theme park which would essentially use potential tax dollars which could be used to build schools to instead be used to help a developer pay for this theme park.
May 23, 2007 at 12:00am
Initially I was against this idea of the theme park, but the more thought I have given it, it may not be bad. If the theme park is able to sway even a handful of kids into a more religious lifestyle and closer to God then it is worth the price. What price do we place on a single child's soul. For the rest of us that don't want it for whatever reason, we can all bite our portion of the bullet for the better good.
May 23, 2007 at 12:00am

This project is not about sending a message or seeks to save a "child's soul." The developer is very clear about this. If this project was about religion as youd escribe, there would be no TIF financing making it's way through the Senate.

Everyone needs to understand this is an entertainment park according to the developer. That is the sould and only focus of the project according to the developer. He is not out to save souls.

Joseph Dassaro
May 23, 2007 at 12:00am
Its not about souls, its about the almighty dollar! Once again the peoples government has sold us out. And they wonder why people do not vote?
May 23, 2007 at 12:00am
For the record I have emailed Donna Rowland (State Rep) and Terry Gooch (county commisioner representing the Blackman District). BOTH are opposed to the park.

I really don't think everything is a done deal if we voice our oppinions. FYI - The Rutherford County web site lists phone numbers for the County Commisioners.

Just wanted to pass this along.
May 23, 2007 at 12:00am
MyVoice-souls have no price, but tickets to the park sure will.

So where will the following go?:

gas stations
RV campgrounds
souvenir shops
trash from the park
parking spaces

Your house?

I'm with you on a child's soul and where your heart is, but the amount of money people will lose on property values will far exceed the price of admission. Then what kind of impression will the park leave? Your stuck in a house (because nobody will buy it and the owner loses money) that is within earshot of a theme park nobody wants.

You call this a blessing?

May 23, 2007 at 12:00am
You people and your bible park support makes me sick. I think if we have a bible park I'll open up "Satan's Big Fun Time Land" and spout my ludicrous beliefs to one and all. Murfreesboro is a great small town, don't ruin it with religious bigotry gone Disney.
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