Did you hear about the new Christmas tree tax? It’s only supposed to affect commercial growers and importers that sell 500 or more trees per year and it’s supposed to be used for a fund to study and promote their industry. Why? Don’t enough people buy real Christmas trees anymore? Statistics say that 31 million people bought trees in 2007, down from 37 million in 1991. So more people are buying artificial trees nowadays but does that really mean that we need a new tax or fee to “study” the reason? Is that really the job of government? Please!
Recently, a White House spokesman said “I can tell you unequivocally that the Obama administration is not taxing Christmas trees.” Yet the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave their okay to a new 15 cent tax on live Christmas trees. The government would be taxing the large tree growers and importers, who may or may not decide to pass the tax on to the people who buy the trees. So which is it … tax or no tax?
At this point, I wouldn’t put it past the government to follow through with the tax. Why? Currently there is no federal sales tax. Each state sets their sales tax and other entities can add an additional sales tax, so taxes vary across the country. But there is no federal sales tax, at least that I can find. So is this yet another case of the government trying to step on the states’ rights by adding a federal sales tax that the states will be responsible for collecting and sending to Washington, D.C.? Or will Christmas tree growers and importers be required to pay sales tax to the state and separately to the federal government? Think of all the new federal jobs that would create!
I put nothing against the people we have elected in D.C. or Austin. Case in point, how many times have you seen the little ads in the paper or signs along the road for firewood? Typically, they don’t charge sales tax, yet a friend of mine was visited by an official who told him he had to register his business and collect sales tax. No, I don’t know what official came to his door but I assume someone from Austin, since it concerned sales tax. He’s a plumber and sells firewood on the side. He’s not a big commercial operation.
Yes, firewood is taxable in Texas. Other states, such as Colorado, tax firewood for grilling and such but if you have a fireplace and use it for heating your home, it is not taxed. Texas doesn’t seem to make that distinction, but that’s not my gripe. If someone selling firewood part-time from a small north Texas town is visited by someone from the state, we have a state agency with too many people, with too much time on their hands! This is almost as picky as taxing a little girl’s lemonade stand! Geez!!!
What is next to be taxed? Could they somehow estimate the amount of air that we breathe and start taxing that, I wonder?