Texas House approves bill to remove sales tax from female hygiene products


Texas moves to stop the tampon tax: House approves bill to remove sales tax from female hygiene products and diapers in move that’ll cost state $100 MILLION a year

  • Move comes after similar legislation in 23 other states giving tampon tax breaks
  • But only 14 other states have backed legislation to make diapers and other baby supplies exempt too
  • Teenage girls have led the movement to make changes, after abortion ban

Texas has provisionally approved a bill banning sales tax for sanitary products and some baby supplies in a move that could cost the state $100million a year. 

The Texas House of Representatives voted 145 to 2 on Wednesday, for the bill that would also exempt maternity clothes, breast pumps and diapers.

It was introduced by Rep Donna Howard and is being prioritized by House Speaker Dade Phelan. It also has the support of Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

The legislation would remove sales tax on baby wipes, bottles, tampons, sanitary pads and menstrual cups as well as adult diapers.

Texas’s move comes after similar legislation was introduced in 23 other states to give residents tampon tax breaks – but only 14 of those also backed diaper exemptions.

Rep Donna Howard (pictured) created the bill and it is being prioritized by House Speaker Dade Phelan – as well as having the support of Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Rep Donna Howard (pictured) created the bill and it is being prioritized by House Speaker Dade Phelan – as well as having the support of Texas Governor Greg Abbott

The table lists the 23 out of 50 states that have granted tax breaks for diapers or tampons. Source: Fortune

The table lists the 23 out of 50 states that have granted tax breaks for diapers or tampons. Source: Fortune

The bill had 39 co-authors – 12 of them Republicans – and the measure will cost an estimated $194million in lost sales tax over two years.

During a House hearing in March, Emily Adams, vice chair of the Austin Diaper Bank, said: ‘Not only are children missing out on critical early learning experiences and academic and social development, parents and caregivers are forced to drop out of the workforce, resulting in a loss of wages.

‘Without employee prospects, small businesses face a hiring desert.’

Amid a rising cost of living crisis, this move would help families and women to stay on top of their finances.

According to the center of Budgets and Policy Priorities, diapers can cost $100 per month, with the only financial assistance coming from non-profit diaper banks and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

The bill had 39 co-authors - 12 of them Republicans - and the measure will cost an estimated $194million in lost sales tax over two years

The bill had 39 co-authors – 12 of them Republicans – and the measure will cost an estimated $194million in lost sales tax over two years

Rep Howard has filed the bill in every session since 2017 and focused previously on addressing ‘period poverty’.

Teenage girls have also led the movement to make changes in the state, after Texas banned abortion and Republicans sought to support mothers and children.

A spokeswoman for Governor Abbot said about the bill: ‘Governor Abbott fully supports exempting feminine hygiene products from state and local sales tax.

‘These are essential products for women’s health and quality of life, and the Governor looks forward to working with the legislature in the next session to remove this tax burden on Texas women.’

One in five American teens struggles to afford menstrual products, according to a study commissioned by Thinx and PERIOD.

Countries such as the UK and Germany have abolished the tampon tax outright, following calls from women’s’ rights activists.





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