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Christian theme park loses tax-exempt bid

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A county tax official has denied a request for a property tax exemption from operators of a Christian theme park, who said they deserved the break as a religious and educational institution.

Park administrators plan to challenge the decision.

The Holy Land Experience, which opened in February, was developed by Zion's Hope, a nonprofit, nondenominational Christian ministry.

Orange County Property Appraiser Bill Donegan denied an exemption for the park, but granted the tax-exempt status to part of the property where Zion's Hope's administrative and education offices are located.

Donegan determined the park was an attraction and a business.