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Would You Have A Problem With Paying The So-Called “Christmas Tree Tax”?

Submitted by on November 14, 2011 – 11:28 am3 Comments
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‘Tis the season! Okay, okay, so it’s only November 14th and you’re probably more focused on turkey and mashed potatoes right now than you are with picking out the perfect Christmas Tree. But, have you caught wind of what’s been dubbed the “Christmas Tree Tax” yet?

If not, here’s the skinny. Last week, the Department of Agriculture passed a proposal that will force all farmers who sell more than 500 Christmas trees annually to pay a 15-cent tax on each and every tree that they sell. With the number of artificial Christmas trees being purchased every year on the rise, Christmas tree farmers are losing more and more business these days. And, if you’ve noticed, there are no commercials or print advertisements for real Christmas trees. So the thought here is that the 15-cent tax will allow a National Board to be formed (like the boards run by milk and beef farmers) to help promote the sale of Christmas trees.

However, last week, bloggers all across the Web heard about this tax and insinuated that it was thought up and passed by President Obama. As a result, there was a lot of outrage over it and the White House eventually announced that the tax would not be put into effect for the time being. That doesn’t mean that it won’t come back sometime in the future. But, for now, there will be no “Christmas tree tax.”

However, the question remains: Do you have a problem with a bunch of Christmas tree farmers trying to impose a “tax” on their goods to benefit business? I, for the record, do not. I can tell you that I spend a large chunk of change on a real Christmas tree every year. I figure I only buy one, so I might as well get the one I want. With that in mind, I have absolutely no problem paying an extra 15 cents on top of what I’m already paying in order to help out a bunch of American farmers.

I’d also like to point out that this “tax” isn’t really a tax at all. The government isn’t benefitting from it and, by all accounts, the government doesn’t stand to make any money off of it. Neither do the farmers who are pushing for it. Rather, the average American Christmas tree farmer stands to profit from the advertising and marketing that it will provide.

The farmers have been adamant in trying to point out that Americans themselves will see almost no impact on the price of the tree that they buy. And, even if you do recognize that you’re paying the tax, is 15 cents that big of a deal? I understand that people are strapped for cash these days and that every dollar counts. But we’re not even talking about a dollar here. We’re talking about 15 cents!

I’m all for this because this is one of the rare instances in which Americans can help out the average American worker. When you buy an artificial tree, there’s a good chance that tree was mass-produced in China. However, when you buy a real Christmas tree, you know exactly where it was produced—on an American farm! Therefore, I have no problem paying 15 extra cents for it. It’s a small price to pay to help a fellow American.

But, for now, the “Christmas tree tax” has fallen victim to a bunch of bloggers who didn’t like the idea of paying yet another “tax” every year. I can’t say that I blame them for being skeptical about it. But I do blame them for out and out blasting it and ultimately getting the proposal retracted. ‘Tis the season, isn’t it? So, why are so many people acting like Scrooge right now?

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3 Comments »

  • Robert Williams says:

    “What they didn’t mention, though, is that it’s a partnership that many in the Christmas tree industry simply don’t want. As reported in the Federal Register, the industry “tried three different times to conduct promotional programs based on voluntary contributions. Each time, after about three years, the revenue declined to a point where the programs were ineffective.” In other words, many Christmas tree sellers decided they no longer wanted to participate in the programs.”

    “Proponents of the fee might say it’s only 15 cents, but that’s just the problem. It’s so small that most folks might not notice. But given free rein, Washington will keep right on taxing until Americans are nickel-and-dimed to death. And if you hang too many ornaments on a Christmas tree, eventually it will collapse under the weight.”

    Learn more here: http://blog.heritage.org/2011/11/10/morning-bell-obamas-christmas-tree-tax/

  • I agree with the comment above. If the Christmas tree farmers wanted to form some kind of advertising consortium as a way of increasing revenue then they would already have done so. Since the idea has already been tried and has failed three times before they don’t! Or the widespread support necessary for the plan to succeed just isn’t there. Letting the Federal Government in on the act won’t change that. It’s a stupid idea; and-just for the record, I think that President Obama has enough on his plate right now that he would have wasted the three seconds of his time it would have taken to come up with it.

  • Correction to above..he would NOT have wasted his time. To quote the (former) presidential hopeful Rick Perry…”oops.”

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