Bills introduced to eliminate 'tampon tax' in MI - WNEM TV 5

Bills introduced to eliminate 'tampon tax' in MI

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(Source: Wikimedia Commons) (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

A set of bills has been introduced to eliminate the sales tax on feminine hygiene products.

State Reps. Brian K. Elder (D-Bay City)  and Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) in the Michigan House, and state Senators David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights) and Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) in the Michigan Senate introduced the bicameral bills that would keep tampons, sanitary napkins and similar products from being taxed in Michigan.

"This issue is simple for me – feminine hygiene products are essential for the health and well-being of women from their adolescent years through adulthood,” Knezek said. “Instead of classifying these products as luxury item, as the law currently states, we should treat them like the necessity they are. Michigan law exempts a number of medically necessary items from taxation – feminine hygiene products would be a natural addition to that list.”  

In a release by the lawmakers, it states a woman is expected to use an estimated 17,000 tampons and sanitary napkins over the course of her lifetime.

Five states currently exempt such products from state taxes: Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Minnesota. In 2015, Canada also eliminated what was commonly referred to as the “tampon tax.” 

“Feminine hygiene products are not a choice for women, they’re a necessity,” Elder said. “Michigan currently exempts everything from Pop Tarts and magazines to farming equipment from sales tax, so it is unfair that women are forced to pay a 6 percent penalty. Every dollar a poor or working class mother pays for this tax is a dollar she would rather spend on her children.”

Donna Rose, resident, said the state needs to stop taxing women for being women.

"I don't think they should be taxed. Everyone needs them," she said.

Elder said passing the bill is a no brainer.

"If we just use a little common sense it's probably a good non-partisan idea," Elder said.

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