Rep. Roberts’ Bill Makes Feminine Hygiene Products Tax-Exempt

Michigan could join five states that don’t unfairly tax women
Thursday, January 21, 2016

LANSING — State Representative Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores) today introduced bipartisan legislation to exempt feminine hygiene products from the sales tax. Tampons, sanitary napkins and similar feminine hygiene products would be exempt from Michigan’s 6% sales tax. 

“Feminine hygiene products are essential to the health care needs of women, and yet despite their necessity, women are forced to pay a 6 percent penalty when they buy these products,” said Roberts. “Women will spend thousands of dollars on feminine hygiene products in their lifetime. This unfair tax only adds to that financial burden, especially for low income women and girls for whom such products may be cost prohibitive.”

It is estimated that over the course of their lifetime, women use an estimated 17,000 tampons and sanitary napkins. Five states exempt tampons and sanitary napkins from sales taxes: Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Minnesota. Last year Canada also eliminated what was commonly referred to as the “tampon tax.”

“There are a number of things that Michigan doesn’t collect the sales tax on because we consider them necessities, such as food, medicine, and durable medical equipment. We also exempt things like farming equipment and newspapers,” said Roberts. “It’s time to stop taxing women for having periods. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this bill and see it signed into law.”