Under attack in conservative media, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is reassessing a 15 percent tax on purchase of Christmas trees.
Under a new tax by the Obama administration, there will be a 15 percent tax for every tree harvested or imported. But due to the public uproar, the USDA has delayed the implementation of the tax.
The new tax is actually an attempt to fund the Christmas Tree Promotion Board. This will help support U.S. importers and harvesters compete against importers of artificial trees from China.
I can tell you unequivocally that 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, the US Department of Agriculture is going to delay implementation and revisit this action, White House spokesman Matt Lehrich was quoted as saying.
The National Christmas Tree Association also said the new fee structure was not meant to have any impact on the final value of the trees for consumers.