Michigan Lawmakers Propose Measure to End ‘Stamp Tax’

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LANSING – Michigan House on Thursday proposed legislation that would eliminate sales taxes on menstrual products, bringing the state closer to abolishing the “tampon tax.”

The legislation, if passed by the Senate and signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, would eliminate the 6% sales tax on menstrual products as “luxury items.” The proposal was adopted with bipartisan support 94-13.

Similar bills to end the tax have been introduced in every legislative session in Michigan since 2016, but have not received a floor vote in both houses.

Whitmer, a Democrat, initially proposed lifting the tax in her 2022 budget proposal with a provision that lost tax revenue would not be taken out of the School Aid Fund.

The House Fiscal Agency estimates Michigan would lose $ 7 million in tax revenue each year, but maintains the funding will not be taken from schools.

Harbor Springs Republican Representative John Damoose, who voted Thursday to approve the measure, said he was struck by a conversation with a friend in which the stamp tax was identified as a “liberal” issue. He testified that there should be no reason that “just because the other party wants something, the other party should say no”.

“These ideas seem to fit in with Republican ideals as much as they do with Democratic ideals,” Damoose said. “I have come to the conclusion that if there are things we can do together, we should do them together.”

Democratic Representative Padma Kuppa, who co-sponsored the bill, echoed the bipartisan support behind it, adding that the cost of menstruation can limit opportunities for individuals by forcing people to take time off work and leave. school.

“Instead of sanitary products, many people are often forced to use items such as rags, paper towels and toilet paper,” said the Troy lawmaker. “The stories that have been told to me personally while defending this bill, especially with regard to children, are hard to hear. Young people face enough challenges on their way to adulthood and menstrual poverty shouldn’t be one of them. “

At least 20 states have either ended taxation on menstrual products or never had the tax initially, according to Period Equity, a legal organization that advocates for tax exemption on menstrual products. Other Midwestern states that do not tax these items are Illinois, Ohio, and Minnesota.

Several organizations are supporting the tax lift, including the Michigan Department of the Treasury, the Michigan State Medical Society, the Consumer Health Products Association, and the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence.

Anna Liz Nichols is a member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative corps. Report for America is a national, nonprofit service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to cover undercover issues.

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