Raise your hand if you heard this story and worried about the effect it would have on your Christmas Tree this year … ok, you can put your hands down because we want to set the story straight. There is NO Christmas Tree tax.
Yesterday, the USDA announced a final rule for the Christmas Tree Promotion, Research and Information Order, also known as a checkoff program. Not sure what that means? Well here are the basics:
1) President Obama does not hate Christmas – this program has nothing to do with the Obama Administration. In fact, agricultural producers have created promotional boards like this one since 1966. Christmas Tree producers, as an industry, began work on a potential checkoff program, more than four years ago.
2) Christmas Trees are not the only agricultural commodity that have a promotion board. If you’ve ever heard of “Got Milk?” or “The Incredible Edible Egg,” then you’re familiar with the work of promotion boards. Many producers, from dairy farmers to livestock producers to blueberry growers, have created research boards because it increases their markets and they prosper.
3) This is not your tax dollars at work. There are zero tax dollars involved here. Some have asked about the necessity of government involvement – this is to ensure fairness and is required by law. But the industry foots the bill for all necessary costs and administration.
4) You’re not going to see higher prices when you go to purchase your tree this Christmas. This is self-funded by producers who sell or import more than 500 trees. In fact, many growers have been paying much more than 15 cents a tree in the past to voluntary marketing programs, as well as their individual marketing costs.
We know there’s a lot of misinformation floating around out there, but we want to make sure you, the consumers, have the facts. Click here for more information.
Update: Just wanted to share a couple of articles we've seen.