Senate President: Governor’s View on Surtax ‘Gobbles Like a Turkey’

By Beacon Staff

Montana Senate President Bob Story, R-Park City, says Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer is being disingenuous for insisting that a <a href="http://www.flatheadbeacon.com/articles/article/governor_says_surtax_is_not_a_tax/7981/" title="proposed "surtax" on oil production isn't a real tax at all”>proposed “surtax” on oil production isn’t a real tax at all. In doing so, Story also proves that the governor doesn’t have a monopoly on animal colloquialisms:

“The governor may have extraordinary powers, but I do not believe that transportation is one of them. If it walks like a turkey and gobbles like a turkey, it is a turkey. The governor proclaiming that it is a swan does not change the fact that it is still a turkey.”

Just last week Schweitzer compared the Legislature to cattle milling in front of an open gate.

Here’s Story’s entire e-mail

HELENA—Senate President Bob Story today disagreed with statements by Governor Brian Schweitzer that his proposed tax surcharge of one dollar on each barrel of oil is not a new tax.

Story said, “The governor may have extraordinary powers, but I do not believe that transportation is one of them. If it walks like a turkey and gobbles like a turkey, it is a turkey. The governor proclaiming that it is a swan does not change the fact that it is still a turkey.”

The surcharge is an increased tax on every oil producer in the state regardless of the amount of oil produced or the cost of production. This tax will be especially devastating on small producers in northern Montana.

If the same logic was applied to homeowners, their taxes could be increased 50 percent without a tax increase. The legislature has exempted over thirty percent of the value of each home from taxation, so under the Governor’s logic that exemption could be eliminated while not calling the increased burden placed on homeowners a tax increase.

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