Can you say: H-Y-P-O-C-RI-T-E

Ah, a study in contrasts.

Yesterday, March 31, the House Taxation Committee held a hearing on HB 797. This bill would act to ultimately double the gaming tax paid by Montana bar owners. Right now these folks pay 15% off the top of every dollar they earn. Then they pay wages, rent, and all the other normal business expenses. Then they pay state and local income taxes. Did you know many, if not most, bar owners in Montana pay more in gaming tax than their net incomes? Therefore, if we double this tax, the State of Montana will put operators out of business (can you say "kill the goose that laid the golden egg" with greed?) Think about it. There's no way to pass this tax increase on to consumers; bar owners cannot raise the 'price' of gaming.

If you think you don't like Town Pump/Lucky Lils/Magic Diamond now, who do you think will survive a doubling of the tax? The little guys, or the big state wide guys?

But I digress. Guess who appeared at the hearing to testify in favor of socking it to our local bar owners? None other than our own Mayor Gray. Nice. Our own Mayor trying to put local businessmen out of business.

And here's where the hypocrisy comes in. Less than 12 hours after he attacks a legal industry, guess where Mayor Gray is to be found next? He's at the Club Cigar for the ceremony where the Cascade County Tavern Association contributed over $30,000.00 to the City's fund to fight the BRAC process. That's right, he goes and attacks the industry in the morning, and in the afternoon he shows up to bask in the limelight of the generosity of that same industry.

I guess he voted for the tax increase, before he voted against it. Right, Mayor Kerr..er Gray?

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