Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Department of Agriculture Imposes Fifteen Cent Fee Per Christmas Tree on Producers and Importers (And Then Suspends It)

For all those who celebrate Christmas in the United States of America and buy Christmas trees, this entry in the Federal Registry entitled Christmas Tree Promotion, Research, and Information Order (7 CFR Part 1214) just might interest you. There will be a fifteen cent (15¢) fee for each tree on all producers and importers. For the producers and importers who are likely working on a tight margin, they will pass this along to their respective customers!

This rule establishes an industry-funded promotion, research, and information program for fresh cut Christmas trees. The Christmas Tree Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order) is authorized under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act). The Order will establish a national Christmas Tree Promotion Board (Board) comprised of 11 producers and one importer. Under the Order, producers and importers of fresh cut Christmas trees will pay an initial assessment of fifteen cents per Christmas tree. Producers and importers that produce or import less than 500 Christmas trees annually will be exempt from the assessment. A referendum will be conducted, among producers and importers, three years after the collection of assessments begin to determine if Christmas tree producers and importers favor the continuation of this program.

Click here for the applicable Federal Register version for your needs (HTML, text, PDF).

This is just more government regulation for no real reason. Does the country really need to be putting tax dollars money to a Christmas Tree Promotion Board? If the industry wants to impose fees among its members, then do it, but do it privately and leave the government out of it.

But wait!!! News sources indicate that the Department of Agriculture is going to temporarily suspend this program. I guess the backlash from the public is not making it feasible at this time.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is going to delay implementation and revisit a proposed new 15 cent fee on fresh-cut Christmas trees, sources tell ABC News.

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