Thursday, November 10, 2011
There were shouts of "Bah, humbug!" coming from Capitol Hill this week after talk of a so-called Christmas tree tax surfaced.
Really? Is the federal government considering a tax on Christmas trees?
First of all, the headline "Christmas Tree Tax" is enough to enrage most people. It made headlines Wednesday and it got people talking. Is there really going to be a tax on Christmas trees?
The so-called Christmas tree tax is really an industry-sponsored Christmas tree promotion program. The idea of a 15-cent fee per tree sold was the request of the National Christmas Tree Association.
That's right, an industry group requesting to impose a fee on its own industry. It may sound crazy, but here's why:
Under the program, the fee would be paid by Christmas tree producers , or at least the producers who sell or move more than 500 trees a year. According to the NCTA, the fee would fund a promotional campaign to help the Christmas tree industry grow. It's been compared to the "Got Milk?" campaign, which is funded in part by dairy producers.
According to the NCTA, the fee would not have an impact on the price of trees. Critics say, that's not true.
As for now, it doesn't matter. Wednesday, the White House said it's not going to tax Christmas trees. And the USDA decided to delay the program.
Call it an early Christmas Present, under a fee-free tree.