Local Christmas Tree Farmers Say They Don't Need New Bill

By  | 

WHEELOCK - State representative Michael McCaul recently introduced the "Christmas Tree Tax Exclusion Act."

A bill that would allow "choose-and-cut" producers the choice to opt out of the United States Department of Agriculture's Christmas tree promotion and research program.

The program is funded by "choose-and-cut" farmers who pay 15 cents per tree if they sell more than 500 trees.

In a press release, Representative McCaul says the program 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."

Most of the farmers who spoke with KBTX said they do benefit from the program, even though they're small enough to avoid the fee.

Tim Knezek, co-owner of Tim's Trees, says "If I was selling the 500 trees that would be a $75 fee for me, we spend more than that on complimentary hot cocoa and cookies."

The Christmas Tree tax was first proposed in 2010, but was later suspended.

According to McCaul it was revived in a 2014 farm bill.