Subscribe for 17¢ / day

HELENA - Republican gubernatorial nominee Roy Brown and wife Kim paid about $36,600 in federal and state income taxes on a federal adjusted gross income last year of about $206,600, returns released Friday show.

Brown recently filed his 2007 federal and state taxes. He said in April he was seeking a filing extension because he had been busy campaigning and hadn't been able to finish them. The Browns' federal taxes totaled $27,444, while Roy Brown's state taxes were $7,517 and Kim Brown's state taxes were $1,646.

Montana political candidates are not required by law to release their tax returns. Brown's opponent, Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer, has released his the past three years after taking office as governor.

In comparison, Schweitzer and his wife, Nancy, reported in April paying $39,815 in federal and state taxes on a 2007 federal adjusted gross income of $189,039. Besides his governor's salary of $90,771, the Schweitzers reported other income totaling nearly $100,000 from interest, dividends, capital gains and other income.

For their income, the Browns reported $162,632 in income, $31,611 in rental real estate income, $5,139 in capital gains, $4,076 in taxable interest, $2,103 in taxable refunds and some money from other sources.

The Browns' income came mostly from their 100-percent-owned company that has rental properties in Billings, his campaign manager, Chris Wilcox said. A small amount was from Roy Brown's salary as a Montana senator.

"Not one penny of their incomes comes from anything to do with oil and gas or energy production," Wilcox said. "As you know, Roy retired from that business over a decade ago."

That comment was aimed at countering Schweitzer's campaign and the Democratic Party, which repeatedly have attacked Brown as a wealthy oil company executive.

One remaining source of income is the Brown Family Limited Partnership, in which the Browns are limited partners in a family venture with Roy Brown's parents and siblings.

The other is Environmental Services of Wyoming, another family venture involving a Subchapter S corporation that owns chemical analysis laboratories in Montana, Wyoming and North and South Dakota. Wilcox said Roy Brown does not own a controlling interest in this company.

The Browns made $13,049 in charitable donations for the year, including $5,163 to St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic agency to help the poor; $2,984 to Billings Catholic Schools; $2,075 to their church; $415 to CARENET Pregnancy Center; $252 to the Christian Churches Fund; plus a number of smaller donations.

In his e-mail, Wilcox provided a comparison of the Browns' and Schweitzers' incomes, taxes paid and donations to charity. The Schweitzers gave about $6,200 to charities last year.

Wilcox also said Brown is "going above and beyond the standard set by Brian Schweitzer when he refused to disclose anything when he was running for governor."

Late in the 2004 gubernatorial campaign, Republican nominee Bob Brown, no relation to Roy Brown, released a number of past income tax returns and challenged Schweitzer to do the same. Schweitzer said Brown and his wife then were state or school district employees whose salaries were public. Schweitzer, a farmer-rancher, pledged to release his future tax returns if elected governor, and he has done so.

Although candidates are required to file periodic reports listing their donations and expenses with the state Office of Political Practices, Brown also voluntarily posts on his campaign Web site the donations as they come in. He is believed to be the first Montana candidate to do so.

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.