Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pay 15 Cents for the Christmas Tree's Image?

(photo source)

I know the "Christmas tree" had an image problem. It was called a Christmas tree then it seems the last few years it has been dubbed the "Holiday" tree. Just yesterday I read that Wisconsin decided to remove the "Holiday" and restored the "Christmas" moniker. But this seems a bit much...

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.

In the Federal Register of November 8, 2011, Acting Administrator of Agricultural Marketing David R. Shipman announced that 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).

To pay for the new Federal Christmas tree image improvement and marketing program, the Department of Agriculture imposed a 15-cent fee on all sales of fresh Christmas trees by sellers of more than 500 trees per year (7 CFR 1214.52). And, of course, the Christmas tree sellers are free to pass along the 15-cent Federal fee to consumers who buy their Christmas trees. (read the whole article here)

The tree growers are in favor of this? (read the article here) I think they should form their own association and collect their own fees and get their own ads. Just me thinking that is a lot of 15 cents to be misappropriated somewhere. Besides we have a dvr so we don't "see" many commercials...

I personally will not be paying the "non-tax" as we have several artificial trees. Not that I don't love the smell of the annual Christmas tree but the kids (dogs and cat) love to run through the house when we are not home. The tree is a natural hiding place.

I am too busy thinking about Thanksgiving at the moment to ponder my dwindling Christmas spirit. Like Scarlet, I will think about that tomorrow.

Do you have the Christmas spirit yet?


The Sage Butterfly said...

I am moving in that direction, but I think I will feel it more strongly after Thanksgiving. Right now, I am thinking about all the preparations for Thanksgiving...we will be having family visiting. That is a lovely photo of the lighted Christmas tree.

Karen said...

Ah, yes, another tax. Just what we need. It won't affect us since I get my trees out of the back yard, I suppose I could tip Joel an extra .15 for the cutting down of said tree, though.

I haven't started a blasted thing for either holiday yet. And Wisconsin is calling it a Christmas tree again? Wow, who knew us cheeseheads were so un-PC? Actually, I'm proud!

HolleyGarden said...

Funny that they think upping the price will increase their reputation and sales! Well, I do purchase a fresh tree every year, so I'll be paying this new tax. And yes, I am in the Christmas spirit! I have almost all my shopping done! The only reason I'm excited about Thanksgiving is that it is the day we'll to go get the fresh, newly taxed Christmas tree (if they sold them earlier, I would already have it up)! haha If you're wondering why I'm against Thanksgiving, I'm not. Our family is scattered, so we don't get together at Thanksgiving. Christmas is about the only time I see some of them! So, it's Christmas all the way for me!

Shirley Fox said...

I have an artificial tree because the real ones are so expensive in San Antonio. I use candles and other items to add the scent of Christmas.

Beginning to get in the spirit with the cooler weather here. They're changing the lights on the Riverwalk to LED and a more modern display which means no lights in the trees. And it's going to cost more annually, not less. I loved all those lights in the trees so I don't think it will be as nice.

Carol said...

One minute I'm feeling the Christmas Spirit...the next I'm not.... maybe I need to do some Christmas art... a Tax Free Tree maybe :0)