Bill Would Exempt Tampons From Michigan Sales Tax

February 08, 2019 - 11:42 am

LANSING (WWJ) - Legislation recently introduced in Lansing is aiming to eliminate the so-called "tampon tax."

State Reps. Brian K. Elder, a Bay City Democrat, and Tenisha Yancey, a Democrat from Harper Woods, have introduced bills that would exempt feminine hygiene products from Michigan sales tax. 

"There is no reason someone should expect to pay extra for medical necessities, simply because they’re a woman," Elder said in a statement. "This is an expense that has been unfairly forced upon half of our population. Michigan already exempts other necessities like food, medicine, certain medical equipment and even newspapers from the sales tax. There is no reason we cannot provide this economic relief, as well."

Currently, tampons, sanitary napkins and similar feminine hygiene products are subject to Michigan’s six percent sales and use taxes. House Bills 4165 and 4166 would exempt these products from the taxes and hold the School Aid Fund harmless from any loss of revenue.

Ten states exempt tampons and sanitary napkins from sales tax, including New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois, Minnesota, Maryland, Florida and Nevada. It's estimated that over the course of their lifetime, women use nearly 17,000 tampons and sanitary napkins.

"Women already face economic disparities in their paycheck every payday; there is no reason we should also be forced to pay this additional tax for taking care of our reproductive health," said Yancey. "It is time for Michigan to remove this unnecessary financial burden once and for all."