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Obama administration proposes 15-cent Christmas tree tax

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DejaVu
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« on: November 09, 2011, 10:13:46 am »

Obama administration proposes 15-cent Christmas tree tax

 By Alicia M. Cohn  -  11/09/11 09:17 AM ET

The Obama administration is proposing a new tax on Christmas trees to fund a board promoting the holiday trees.

The Christmas Tree Promotion Board would be funded by a new 15 cent per tree tax on large-scale producers of Christmas trees. A group of Christmas tree producers and importers worried about the skyrocketing use of artificial trees proposed the new board.

Under the proposal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the board would seek to revitalize the marketing and image of fresh-cut Christmas trees, which have been overwhelmed in recent years by sales of artificial trees. The Christmas Tree Checkoff Task Force, the group of producers and importers who suggested the board, said the market share of artificial trees increased 655 percent from 1965 to 2008.
 
 According to the agency, the new board is designed to be an "industry-funded promotion, research and information program for fresh-cut Christmas trees." Board members would be nominated from within the industry.

Past marketing efforts have resulted in an uptick in fresh tree sales, but such "voluntary marketing programs suffer from a lack of funding," according to the agency.

 "Producers and importers that domestically produce or import less than 500 Christmas trees annually would be exempt from the assessment," according to the proposal, which is listed in the Nov. 8 Federal Register. Small-scale producers, along with organic producers, would have to submit an exception request to the board.

 The proposed tax is authorized under the 1996 Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act that authorizes the agency "to establish agricultural commodity research and promotion orders."

Source: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/192583-obama-administration-proposes-christmas-tree-tax


How nice.

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The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity, but the one that removes awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside. --Allan Bloom

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DejaVu
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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2011, 05:15:59 pm »

Ooops...nevermind.  Grin


White House Backs Off Christmas Tree 'Tax'
Whatever term you use, it's not happening

 
 By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

 Posted Nov 9, 2011 3:41 PM CST

(Newser)  – So much for that new Christmas tree tax. After a storm of criticism on the right, the Agriculture Department has temporarily scrapped plans for the 15-cent fee, reports the Hill. Under the original plan, big producers and importers of trees would have paid 15 cents per tree, and the money would have set up a Christmas Tree Promotion Board to push real trees over artificial ones.

 Sample criticism, from Republican Sen. Jim DeMint: It's the "single stupidest tax of all time." (And the Drudge Report has been giving it prominent play.) But the White disputes the semantics: “I can tell you unequivocally that the Obama administration is not taxing Christmas trees,” said a spokesman. “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." After the brouhaha, the USDA will "delay implementation and revisit this action.” (Scott Walker is making some Christmas tree headlines of his own in Wisconsin.)

Source: http://www.newser.com/story/132960/white-house-backs-off-christmas-tree-tax.html
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The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity, but the one that removes awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside. --Allan Bloom


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