There’s been a bit of hub-bub over the last day or two about taxes on Christmas Trees…(well, there’s been lots of hub-bub about lots of stuff over the last few days, but I’m going to stick with taxes).
The story happened like this:
On Tuesday, Nov. 8th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that all companies that produce 500 or more live Christmas trees per season will be subject to a tax on each tree, which was to pay for an advertising campaign promoting the industry.
The new fee, which has the support of industry Christmas tree growers, adds 15 cents to the cost of producing each tree and will raise about $2 million per year for the media campaign. The fund establishes a “Christmas Tree Promotion Board” comprised of regional Christmas tree producers that will work to “enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States,” which has suffered with the rise of more companies that manufacture artificial trees. — From Yahoo
The story got picked up by various news sources, including the Drudge Report, which included a picture of Obama peering through some Christmas trees. Naturally, there was heavy pushback about the new tax, which led to the decision on Wednesday that they are going to delay the implementation of the tax. Note: they are delaying the implementation not cancelling it.
Well, my first thought was that I didn’t know that the image of Christmas trees needed enhancing. Getting the government to help enhance the image of Christmas trees seems a bit backwards — I think fresh-cut Christmas trees can do more for the government’s image than the other way around. My personal opinion is that if the Christmas Tree Promotion Board wants to start up a fund to promote live-cut Christmas Trees, then just collect the fees from the growers, who in turn may raise prices on the Christmas trees to recoup the fee…but don’t call it a tax and get the government involved. Just raise the prices to cover the cost of the campaign.
What do you think about the Christmas Tree Tax?