State Senate and House work to eliminate 'tampon tax'

Feb 2, 2017

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 Rep. Winnie Brinks says “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 Sen. Rick Jones. “Feminine hygiene products are absolutely a medical necessity,” Jones says. “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,” Brinks states. “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.”