O’ Christmas Tree…Oh Christmas Tax!

Now they want to add a tax to live Christmas Trees? I don’t know – the Dept of Agriculture hasn’t ever paid the black farmers – now they want to hit up the public at the corner tree lot…

A fee on thee, oh Christmas tree

The U.S. Agriculture Department, after debates that pitted one U.S. region against another, approved a new industry-funded Christmas tree promotion plan.

The 15-cent per-tree fee on growers will help fund the industry’s ad campaign promoting the merits of real Christmas trees over artificial ones, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday.

Growers estimate the fee will raise $2 million.

“As demographics and buying habits have changed, we have watched the market for real trees shrink drastically, requiring us to spend much more time and money on promotion,” said Don Cameron, past president of the California Christmas Tree Association.

Similar to programs that promote milk, beef and cotton, the Christmas tree program imposes a fee of 15 cents per tree on U.S. domestic producers and importers. A panel directs the money into ads, other promotions and research.

“We have good reason to believe it will be successful for our industry,” Betty Malone, an Oregon tree farmer and Christmas Tree Promotion Now president, told the Tribune. “We looked at what other industries have done, and how successful they’ve been.”

After three years, growers and importers will vote on whether to continue the program.

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