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Once again, state Dems propose to eliminate the tampon tax

pads and tampons
Michigan Radio

Two bills proposing to exempt feminine hygiene products from sale and use tax, commonly known as the "tampon tax," were reintroduced in the state Senate Tuesday.

Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids), SB 123 and 124 co-sponsor, previously introduced similar bills in the House in 2017. Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) is also a co-sponsor. Earlier this month, bills 4165 and 4166, which also seek to exempt feminine hygiene products from sale and use tax, were introduced in the House by State Reps. Brian K. Elder (D-Bay City) and Tenisha Yancey (D-Harper Woods).

“Feminine hygiene products are a necessity and to use them isn’t a choice,” Brinks said in a statement. “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.”

According to the medical journal The Lancet, the average woman will experience roughly 450 periods before she hits menopause. In Michigan, the average cost of a box of tampons is $7, and at a 6 percent sales tax, would equate to about 42 cents added in tax. Over a lifetime, a woman would spend roughly $189 in taxes - if using a box of tampons per month.

Opponents of the exemption say that removing the tax costs the state roughly $5 million in potential tax revenue, leaving holes in the budget. 

If passed, the bills would make Michigan the 12th state to eliminate the tax on feminine products.

Jodi is Michigan Radio’s Director of Digital Audiences, leading and developing the station’s overall digital strategy.
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