A proposed 15-cent per tree Christmas tree tax was abandoned this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) after coming under fire by various right wing groups.
Under the proposed plan big producers and importers of trees would be required to pay a 15 cent per tree tax, that money would then be used to set up a Christmas Tree Promotion Board which would promote real trees over artificial offerings. Think of the board as the “Got Milk” equivalent of the Christmas Tree industry.
In one criticism Republican Sen. Jim DeMint said of the proposed tax:
“It’s the “single stupidest tax of all time.”
For their part the White House quickly shifted the focus away from the current administration with a spokesman noting:
“I can tell you unequivocally that the Obama administration is not taxing Christmas trees,” while adding, “What’s being talked about here is an industry group deciding to impose fees on itself to fund a promotional campaign, similar to how the dairy producers have created the ‘Got Milk?’ campaign.”
At this time the USDA has agreed to “delay implementation and revisit this action.”
The Christmas Tree Promotion, Research, and Information Order is authorized under the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996.
It should be noted that both the “Got Milk?” and “Beef: It’s What For Dinner?” campaigns which were ordered under the same act were met with some resistance when first introduced, the former of which is one of the most successful campaigns in current memory.
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