House Panel Proposes Exempting Diapers, Feminine Hygiene Products From Sales Taxes

Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 5:10pm
Updated: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 5:16pm

An Arizona House panel has advanced a proposal exempting diapers and feminine hygiene products from state sales taxes, but it still has a ways to go before it becomes law.

The proposal is intended to give a tax break to poor and low-income families. But if House Bill 2217 passes, it would cut $7 million in state revenue.

Diane Post is a lobbyist for the National Organization for Women. She said the lifetime cost to women for menstrual products is about $20,000. Furthermore, "Arizona tourist magazines, sheep, college textbooks, donkeys, lottery tickets, Viagra, and telecommunication equipment with a two-year contract all have no state sales tax," she said.

Another supporter who testified before the Ways and Means Committee said nearly a third of all mothers struggle to keep their children in clean diapers.

The proposal ran into opposition from Republicans concerned about the lost revenue.

Democrat Mitzi Epstein asked Republican Jeff Weninger if he values giving a financial break to women, babies and the elderly, “but that's somewhat offensive in that there's this litmus test that if you don't vote for this and you have some kind of a philosophical disagreement that you don't care for babies or the elderly or something."

The measure passed on a 5-4 vote.

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