In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Michael McCaul
(R-TX) expressed concerns about the usefulness of the USDA’s Christmas
tree marketing program to the small “choose-and-cut” Christmas tree farms his bill seeks to exempt:
federally mandating that choose-and-cut businesses take part in this
national promotional program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is
forcing the entire industry to pay for an advertising campaign that
primarily benefits large, national Christmas tree producers selling to
the wholesale market, not small tree farms.”
introducing identical legislation during the 113th Congress in December
2014, Rep. McCaul added that while he supports a full repeal of the Christmas tree tax, he was optimistic that Congress could agree to at least his limited exemption.
Of Note: The Christmas tree tax
has been in place since 2010. It began with a USDA issued regulation establishing a
program for large-scale Christmas tree producers to tax sales to establish and fund the USDA’s marketing program for Christmas trees. It was removed from the law following public scrutiny, but was
revived in the 2014 Farm Bill.
Media:Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: "Christmas tree farm fire" by Mister Christmas - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)