It’s back. A controversial measure that imposes a tax on Christmas trees is part of a new agricultural bill in Congress that is sure to be a headliner in the War on Christmas 2013.
In 2011 the Obama Administration introduced the idea after Christmas tree industry insiders lobbied for government support of marketing the Christmas tree industry. The real Christmas tree industry, backed heavily by major Christmas tree producing states such as Oregon, has suffered years of declining sales as many consumers have opted to purchase imported artificial Christmas trees.
What they want is a marketing campaign similar to the “Got milk?” campaign used for the dairy industry. A similar government program supports the beef industry.
Before all the ins-and-outs of marketing Christmas trees ever got talked about the bill got caught up in the war on Christmas as media outlets chose sides on whether or not the Obama administration was anti-Christmas for imposing a tax on trees. The measure calls for a “fee” to be imposed on the sale of each tree, an amount identified from 15 cents to 20 cents per tree, to finance the marketing campaign.
In 2011 the bill was introduced in November, just before the start of Christmas tree selling season. This time it was re-introduced in the middle of May.
It is now early June and opponents are lining up, once again, to oppose the bill (and mostly the tax) by once again calling it a Christmas Tree tax.
Groups like Heritage.org are political. Their job is to support or oppose legislation like this for the groups they support.
We’re warning you now that this issue is going to be spun, once again, as an anti-Christmas measure. We believe the facts should override the politics:
1. This measure is being pursued within the Christmas tree industry. Most tree growers WANT this.
2. Heritage is right. This is a tax, albeit a minor one and it WILL be imposed on consumers.
3. The Obama administration is right. This is NOT an anti-Christmas measure.