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State Senate And House Work To Eliminate 'Tampon Tax'

Feminine Hygiene
Wikipedia Media Commons

The so-called “tampon tax” has got to go.  That’s the message of lawmakers in both chambers of the state Legislature. 

Democrats and a couple Republicans are teaming up to get rid of Michigan’s use tax and sales tax on feminine hygiene products. 

Michigan exempts food, medication, and other necessities from taxes, and lawmakers argue feminine hygiene products are just as essential.  

Bill sponsor, Democratic Representative Winnie Brinks said, “It’s not optional.  It’s certainly not a luxury item, and you need it for 40 years.  So it’s really unlike most other items that are taxed.”

While the House bills are currently only sponsored by Democrats, the Senate package has the support of several Republicans, like Senator Rick Jones.  

“Feminine hygiene products are absolutely a medical necessity,” he said.  “In Michigan, we don’t tax medicine, we don’t tax medical needs.  Certainly, this should be added to the list.  It was a simple decision for me to co-sponsor the bills.”

Brinks said she hopes lawmakers from the other side of the aisle will sign on. 

“We’re happy to keep that conversation going of course to make sure that we get folks on board,” she said.  “We’ve got a couple of Representatives who signed on to similar legislation last term who are Republicans.  So, we’ll be continuing that conversation.”

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

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