Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tax on a Christmas Icon

The Federal government is thinking of imposing a 15-cent tax on Christmas trees this year, in an attempt to improve “the image and marketing of Christmas trees.” The secretary of agriculture was going to appoint a Christmas Tree Promotion Board who was going to be in charge of researching and designing new strategies to strengthen the industry of Christmas trees in the market. The 15-cent tax was going to be levied on the sellers of fresh-cut Christmas trees, but only for sellers who met or exceeded the sale of 500 trees a year. But, the tax could be easily passed on to the consumers, who are already in a financial bind coming into the holiday season because of still high unemployment rates.

The Obama administration decided to delay their proposal for this tax the following day, as there was such a large outcry from the public. The public was upset and so was the Christmas tree industry, as many in the industry did not even want the tax. The industry has tried three prior times and after a period of time the revenue of the tax decline to the point that the programs were no longer effective to run.

This tax can be seen as another attempt by the Federal government to have a say in the market operations in the United States. The government is already extended itself further and further, while there is still an issue of a large national debt. The implementation of a tax on Christmas trees can also be seen as an infringement from the government on the ability of its citizens to choose their own religion freely. What is special about the Christmas tree to those who do not celebrate Christmas? Why should there be a tax to improve the image of the Christmas tree if not everyone cares about Christmas trees? These are the gray areas that the federal government needs to be cautious proceeding on, especially in an economically tight time where many are not happy with the government as it is.
--Meredith Springsteen

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