GR senator backs bills to stop taxing tampons


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — There is a new push in the Michigan Legislature to end the sales tax on feminine hygiene products, also known as the tampon tax.

The tax on box of tampons is less than a dollar on average, but proponents of the bill argue that the product is a necessity and shouldn’t be taxed at all.

“I just think it’s really important for women and girls all over the state,” state Sen. Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids, told 24 Hour News 8 in a video call.

She co-sponsored a package of bills introduced to the Senate Tuesday. The two bills would a eliminate the sales tax and use tax for products like tampons, panty liners and menstrual cups.

>>Online: Track Senate Bills 0123 & 0124

The average price for a box of tampons is $7 and Michigan’s sales tax is 6 percent, which works out to around 42 cents per box.

“In my household with multiple girls, that adds up,” Brinks said.

Opponents use the same argument against the bills, saying the roughly $5 million in lost tax revenue annually will have negative effects.

But Brinks feels the benefits outweigh the losses. She says the state has billions of dollars and the millions can be found elsewhere.

Almost identical bills have been introduced in previous sessions and have failed. Brinks said it has been discussed for the past five years. So what’s different this time?

“There’s not a lot of different in terms of the circumstances,” Brinks admitted. “I’m just hoping that folks will be a little bit more informed and enlightened about the importance providing this kind of tax reform to people who may be struggling just to make ends meet.”

Eleven states have eliminated taxes on tampons, including Ohio and Illinois.

“It’s one little thing we can do to help people out,” Brinks said.

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