15 cent Christmas tree fee sparks outrage - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

15 cent Christmas tree fee sparks outrage

MINERAL, VA (WWBT) - Christmas trees - a household phrase! That's the goal behind a 15 cent tree marketing fee for growers. Even though the fee was just approved by the USDA, public outrage has prompted the White House to put a hold on it.

The majority of growers nationwide want the fee to generate more money for marketing their product. 15 cents per tree! One small grower in Virginia worries it might put her out of business. Our Facebook fans think it's a crazy idea.

Got a fresh cut Christmas tree? You might just hear that while channel surfing next holiday season should a new federal marketing program move forward.   

"I think it's going to make more of a Christmas tree a household word. It'll make people think of buying a fresh tree rather than an artificial tree," said John Carroll with Claybrooke Farm in Mineral.

Under a USDA approved program, growers would face a 15 cent fee per tree cut and sold or imported. Farms that sell more than 500 trees a year would be impacted. It's part of a federal check-off promotional program which is behind the ads for milk, beef and the other white meat!

We asked our NBC12 Facebook fans what they thought about it.

One man posted: "Cuz we all know that fresh-cut Christmas trees have a poor self-image."

A woman replied: "What the. World getting crazier every day."

Another woman wrote: "The stupidest thing I have ever heard in my entire life!"

One man posted: "C'mon people ya spend 30 to 50 on a tree, what's 15 cents more?"

Carroll said it's not an image problem, growers need the promotional dollars.

"Right now it's voluntary so we're really promoting the project with less than half a million dollars," said Carroll.

Carroll believes the fee would generate two million dollars a year to help sell fresh cut trees.

"It's a great product that's renewable it's eco-friendly," said Carroll.

His trees are already tagged for sale. One is going for $30 and Carroll said you won't see an extra 15 cents tacked on.

"We just see the value of the promotional dollars certainly if we can't afford to absorb that 15 cents per tree there's something wrong," said Carroll.

Carroll said growers that cut and sell fewer than 500 trees a year would be exempt along with organic growers.   

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • Angry teens swarm into Florida Capitol; demand new gun laws

    Angry teens swarm into Florida Capitol; demand new gun laws

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 1:43 AM EST2018-02-21 06:43:29 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 1:19 AM EST2018-02-22 06:19:21 GMT

    Students who survived the Florida school shooting are preparing to flood the Capitol pushing to ban the assault-style rifle used to kill 17 people, vowing to make changes in the November election if they can't...

    More >>

    Students who survived the Florida school shooting are preparing to flood the Capitol pushing to ban the assault-style rifle used to kill 17 people, vowing to make changes in the November election if they can't persuade lawmakers to change law now.

    More >>
  • Virginia locks up top seed in ACC Tournament with win over Georgia Tech

    Virginia locks up top seed in ACC Tournament with win over Georgia Tech

    Thursday, February 22 2018 12:23 AM EST2018-02-22 05:23:04 GMT

    Ty Jerome scored 18 points and Virginia pulled away from Georgia Tech in the second half, as the top-ranked Cavaliers downed the Yellow Jackets, 65-54. With the victory, the Wahoos clinch the top seed in the ACC Tournament next month. 

    More >>

    Ty Jerome scored 18 points and Virginia pulled away from Georgia Tech in the second half, as the top-ranked Cavaliers downed the Yellow Jackets, 65-54. With the victory, the Wahoos clinch the top seed in the ACC Tournament next month. 

    More >>
  • Blind victim forgives childhood friend for accidental shooting

    Blind victim forgives childhood friend for accidental shooting

    Thursday, February 22 2018 12:19 AM EST2018-02-22 05:19:46 GMT
    Mike Lee was left blind after an accidental shooting in 1989. (Source: NBC12)Mike Lee was left blind after an accidental shooting in 1989. (Source: NBC12)

    Mike Lee has never harbored hatred towards his friend Todd Bell, but until now, the two men have never truly expressed how the accident changed both their lives.

    More >>

    Mike Lee has never harbored hatred towards his friend Todd Bell, but until now, the two men have never truly expressed how the accident changed both their lives.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly