The Christmas Tree Tax of 15 cents is being requested by the National Christmas Tree Association, based in Chesterfield, Missouri to help promote and fund a new marketing campaign. Similar to the “Got Milk” and “Beef, It’s what’s for dinner” campaigns, the Christmas Tree Tax is to charge producers and importers of fresh cut Christmas Tress if they sell or import more than 500 tress in one year.
The money from the 15 cent Christmas Tree tax is not to pay down debt or fund any program. but is designed to go into the new Christmas Tree Promotion Board for their new marketing campaign. The new marketing campaign is to help boost Christmas Tree sales.
According to the Federal Register, this new board for Christmas Tree promotion was supposed to launch “program of promotion, research, evaluation, and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry’s position in the marketplace.”
USA Today reported spokesman Matt Lehrich saying “A 12-member board will direct the money to generic ads and other promotions, as well as research. The promotions, according to the Agriculture Department, will present “a favorable image of Christmas trees to the general public,” with the intent of improving the public “perception” of Christmas trees and, hence, their sales. 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.”
“According to additional data supplied by the Task Force, the market share of fresh Christmas trees in the U.S. from 1965 to 2008 has declined by 6 percent. In comparison, the market share of artificial trees has increased 655 percent from 1965 to 2008.”
A White House official released an updated statement that the program of Christmas Tree Tax has been delayed and stated:
“The Obama Administration is not taxing Christmas trees. 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. That said, USDA is going to delay implementation and revisit this action.”
- Merry Christmas? Agriculture Department Imposes Christmas Tree Tax – Fox News (foxnews.com)
- Obama administration approve Christmas tree tax (telegraph.co.uk)