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The Department of Agriculture’s Christmas tree tax to promote live trees

The Department of Agriculture has given the green light to an industry-funded Christmas tree promotion program.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Christmas tree tax will impose on U.S. domestic producers and importers an initial fee of 15 cents per tree. This will add up to about $2 million a year for ads promoting the merits of real, live trees.

“As demographics and buying habits have changed, we have watched the market for real trees shrink drastically, requiring us to spend much more time and money on promotion,” said Don Cameron, past president of the California Christmas Tree Association

“We have good reason to believe it will be successful for our industry,” Betty Malone, an Oregon tree farmer and president of Christmas Tree Promotion Now, said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “We looked at what other industries have done, and how successful they’ve been.”

After three years, growers and promoters will decide whether or not to continue the Christmas tree tax program.

Some conservatives and small growers are rallying aginst the Christmas tree tax program, attempting to draw parallels between President Obama and Ebenezer Scrooge.

What do you think? What are your thoughts on this Christmas tree tax?

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