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Lawmakers seek to end ‘tampon tax’

Two state lawmakers recently introduced legislation to eliminate the so-called “tampon tax” on feminine hygiene products, making the esse…

Two state lawmakers recently introduced legislation to eliminate the so-called “tampon tax” on feminine hygiene products, making the essential items more affordable and accessible to women.

State Sens. Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids, and Mallory McMorrow, D-Royal Oak, said the bills would make Michigan the 12thstate to exempt hygiene products from the sales and use tax.

“Feminine hygiene products are a necessity and to use them isn’t a choice,” Brinks said. “For some, the cost over the course of a year, or even a lifetime, is already difficult to bear before factoring taxes. We should treat these products like any other medical expense and create easier access for every woman in Michigan.”

Estimates show women use approximately 17,000 tampons and sanitary napkins in their lifetime. Michigan currently exempts food, medicine, durable medical equipment, farming equipment and newspapers from the state’s 6 percent sales tax.

“Most women will by tampons for decades of their life. That’s a fact,” McMorrow said. “It’s something that’s medically necessary and essential to our everyday lives. What may seem like small change in taxes adds up quickly over time.

“Let’s give women more spending power to put back into our economy how they see fit; to buy groceries, contribute to child care, or save toward a house or retirement,” McMorrow continued. “We should be treating women’s needs like any other medically necessary purchase that is tax exempt in Michigan.”

Eleven other states currently exempt feminine hygiene products from sales tax, including Ohio and Illinois.

The legislation, Senate Bills 123 and 124, were referred to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.

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