Obama Shelves Christmas-Tree Tax

Christmas is back on: the Obama administration is backing off a proposed 15-cent tax on fresh Christmas trees after it faced a firestorm of criticism from conservatives and some small growers. The levy, which was to be put in place by the Department of Agriculture, would have raised about $2 million for a promotional campaign to support the tree industry. “We have good reason to believe it will be successful for our industry,” Oregon tree farmer Betty Malone told the Chicago Tribune. But many on the right attacked the idea as just another tax.