Christmas Tree Tax? Bah Humbug

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The Time News reports this morning that a proposed Christmas tree tax quickly disappeared when the effort to slap an extra surcharge on holiday evergreens was considered Grinch-like.

Times News reporter Ben Botkin reports that a number of national growers and distributors of Christmas tree had pushed for a 15-cent surcharge on each Christmas tree sold to fund a promotion program. Growers had growing concerns about losing business to manufacturers of fake trees. But when the Federal Register published the proposal, the phrase "tax on Christmas trees" immediately went viral and the idea was tossed on a pile of coal.

The National Christmas Tree Association, representing growers, insisted that the program was never a tax, in spite of the fact that it was clearly a surcharge attached to each sale.

"[The program] is an industry-requested self-assessment to fund promotion and information programs to encourage American consumers to buy farm-raised Christmas trees," wrote an association spokeswoman.