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Update: White House Halts 'Grinch' Christmas Tree Tax...For Now

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""If it's one thing I think the free market could handle, it's letting people decide what kind of tree they want..."

Less than a day after the Obama administration announced a 15-cent tax on fresh Christmas trees to help "improve the image and marketing," pulled back due to redicule.

Fox News reports Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., as one of many against the tax calling it a "Grinch"-like move. Fox has more:

White House spokesman Matt Lehrich told Fox News Wednesday afternoon that the administration is putting a stop to the proposal.

"I can tell you unequivocally that the Obama administration is not taxing Christmas trees. What's being talked about here is an industry group deciding to impose fees on itself to fund a promotional campaign, similar to how the dairy producers have created the 'Got Milk?' campaign," he said. "That said, USDA is going to delay implementation and revisit this action."

[...]

Heritage Foundation Vice President David Addington, who first reported on the rule on his blog Tuesday evening, said there were two problems with the new fee. First, he said it's likely the 15-cent fee would be passed on to consumers. Second, he said it's inappropriate for the government to be putting its "thumb on the scale," helping out the fresh-tree sellers and not the artificial-tree sellers.

"If it's one thing I think the free market could handle, it's letting people decide what kind of tree they want to buy for Christmas," Addington told FoxNews.com.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture was set to begin the implementing this tax program today, with proceeds going to " an industry-funded promotion, research, and information program for fresh cut Christmas trees," according to the Federal Register. Under the order, those who sold fresh Christmas trees would have paid the initial tax.

Wonder if someone's heart grew three sizes today.

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