Some taxes never get put to a vote. Such was the case with the “Christmas tree tax” that was announced today in the Federal Register.
The tax is a 15-cent per-tree tax on growers and importers of fresh Christmas tree. Believe it or not, this tax was supported by many growers.
Why, you ask?
It’s because tree growers wanted a reliable source of advertising dollars to fund the promotion of fresh Christmas trees. Says this Fox News report:
The 15-cent tax on Christmas trees was announced Tuesday in the Federal Register and was meant to pay for a new board tasked with promoting the Christmas tree industry. It was supported by Christmas tree growers, who wanted a stable source of revenue to fund a new marketing campaign.
Similar taxes have been implemented in the dairy and beef industries to bring you such slogans as “Got Milk?” and “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.”
I have to wonder, why bother going to the federal government to get a new tax on Christmas trees entered as law? Why not just set up a voluntary collective of tree growers who contribute to a common marketing budget?
Seems like it would be simpler. Members could come and go as they please.
That’s because it’s all about control.
It’s about getting the force of law behind you so you can force every tree grower to pay the tax, even those who don’t want to.
It’s about getting a personal advantage at the expense of your neighbor.
It’s shit. That’s what it is.
The federal government has absolutely no business giving out favors to business. Yet they do. They contribute their money and influence to the growth of the dairy industry, the beef industry, and hundreds of other industries.
All to buy votes.
To maintain their control and power.
It’s wrong. But it goes on.
Of course, the title of my post is facetious. I don’t want any favors from the government. As soon as you accept one, you’re bought and paid for, subject to whatever arbitrary rules they force on you.
That’s why I refuse to participate in tax-advantaged plans like HSAs and 401(k)s. I don’t want to give the government any more control over me than they already have.
Anyway, the backlash to the already-infamous “tax on Christmas” has been considerable, the critics many. And so the tax will be sidelined… for now.
I can only hope similar public outcries will fall upon other companies and industries who’ve lobbied the government for special taxes, favors, and benefits. (I’m talking to you, DMI!)
-Ryan M. Healy
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