Get the REAL story here: There is no Christmas tree tax
The “Christmas Tree Tax” is not an actual tax, but a commodity “checkoff” program stipulated under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 and overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This program was requested by the industry in 2009 and has gone through two industry-wide comment periods during which 565 comments were submitted from interested parties. More than 70% of the growers posting comments, and nearly 90% of the state and multi-state associations that posted comments indicated that they were in favor of the program. A group of Christmas tree farmers and retailers spent nearly three years studying the potential positives and negatives of a checkoff promotion and research program, including looking at other commodities that have similar programs.
The commodity checkoff program is designed to benefit the industry and will be funded by the growers at a rate of 15 cents per tree sold. The program will be administered by an independent 12-member board of small business owners who grow and sell farm-grown Christmas trees and they will be responsible for developing and approving promotional and research efforts to benefit the entire industry. The program is not expected to have any impact on the final price consumers pay for their Christmas tree. There are at least18 other similar programs already in effect for various agricultural commodities including; “Got Milk?”, “Beef, It’s what’s for dinner”, “Pork: The Other White Meat”, and “The Incredible, Edible Egg”.
Although smaller in scope, the Christmas tree program will be similar to these programs.
Christmas tree growers believe that the artificial tree industry has been able to spread false information, leading the American public to believe that artificial trees are safer, greener, and better for the American economy. Since 2009, growers have been working to find a way to spread their own message, that they believe it is the exact opposite: real trees are safer, greener and better for the American economy. We believe the commodity checkoff program will give us an opportunity to do just that.