You better watch out. You better not cry. But you’ll probably pout. I’m telling you why.
There’s a new Christmas Tree tax coming to town!
Heritage Vice President David Addington explains that this is no joke: “President Obama’s Agriculture Department today announced that it will impose a new 15-cent charge on all fresh Christmas trees—the Christmas Tree Tax—to support a new Federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees.”
Excuse me? Improve the image of Christmas trees?
According to Addington,
the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint a Christmas Tree Promotion Board. The purpose of the Board is to run a “program of promotion, research, evaluation, and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry’s position in the marketplace; maintain and expend existing markets for Christmas trees; and to carry out programs, plans, and projects designed to provide maximum benefits to the Christmas tree industry” (7 CFR 1214.46(n)). And the program of “information” is to include efforts to “enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States” (7 CFR 1214.10).
The tax, imposed on sellers of more than 500 trees per year and passed on to consumers, will pay for this new marketing program.
The administration is already playing defense. They’re calling it a fee. But when the government charges a fee to raise money for a government program, that sounds an awful lot like a tax.
As Addington puts it,
Nobody is saying President Obama doesn’t have authority to impose his new Christmas Tree Tax — his Administration cites the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996. Just because the Obama Administration has the legal power to impose its Christmas Tree Tax doesn’t mean it should do so.
With the economy still recovering from the recession and the jobless rate at nine percent, adding a tax to the jolliest time of year is not only depressing but unnecessary. The new tax hurts the businesses that sell these trees, many of them small businesses. And it puts consumers on the hook for increased costs.
Besides, the Christmas tree already has a great image. It doesn’t need any help from the government.
What do you think of this new Christmas tree tax? Do you think the administration has gone too far?