'Christmas Tree Tax' Needles Many
NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- The federal government announced a new rule on Tuesday in the Federal Register that is causing quite a stir -- the Christmas Tree Promotion, Research, and Information Order, or the "Christmas Tree Tax," as it has been dubbed by several media outlets.
It's a new initiative by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help the businesses behind fresh-cut Christmas trees market themselves, but producers say the charge won't affect the final price of the trees.
"Under the Order, producers and importers of fresh-cut Christmas trees will pay an initial assessment of 15 cents per Christmas tree," the text of the rule reads. "Producers and importers that produce or import less than 500 Christmas trees annually will be exempt from the assessment."Essentially, Christmas tree producers want to fund a board to research and market for the industry. So why are some Americans up in arms about it? A 15-cent tax will be added to each tree, but the National Christmas Tree Association that has been pushing for the tax for the past two years says the taxes will be levied on the industry and won't be pushed onto consumers at all. "The program is not expected to have any impact on the final price consumers pay for their Christmas tree," the group announced in a statement Wednesday. Such a stir was caused by the rule's announcement that ABC is reporting that the Obama administration will delay the tax for further review. Tax attorney Kelly Phillips Erb, also known as Tax Girl, weighed in on the isse for MainStreet. "I think it's disingenuous [to say the cost won't be passed along to consumers], because the cost will get passed along somehow." Erb also points out that the Christmas tree tax deserves a second look because of religious freedom issues. "It's a federally mandated program to promote the sale of Christmas trees and I'm not sure I'm OK with that," she says. "I'm not against Christmas trees, but I think it's a slippery slope on a lot of levels." What do you think about the tax? Let us know in the comments below!
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
24/7 market commentary from Jim Cramer and 20+ veteran Wall Street gurus. Get access to the latest trading ideas on stocks, options, and ETFs as well as a real-time forum to see the pros exchanging their investment ideas.
- Jim Cramer + 20 Wall Street pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Real-time trading forum
- Actionable trade ideas
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV