Whitmer signs bill to repeal tampon tax

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed House Bill (HB) 5267 , one of a two-bill bipartisan package to repeal the tax on essential menstrual products, including tampons. The bills aim to save families from paying taxes on up to $4,800 of spending over a lifetime.

“After years of trying to repeal this tax, I am proud that we are bringing people together to put Michiganders first and drive down costs on these essential products,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Everyone should be able to take care of their most basic healthcare needs without an unnecessary added financial burden. Tomorrow, I will sign the second bill in the package to repeal this tax and cut costs for families as we usher in a new era of prosperity for Michigan.”

Over a lifetime, the average menstruating Michigander has 456 periods, totaling 6.25 years, and uses 17,000 tampons or pads. Michiganders have paid a 6 percent tax when they purchase menstrual products.  The typical cost for these products is $7 to $10 per month, which adds up to between $3,360 and $4,800 over a lifetime.

The bill brought bipartisan praise.

“This legislation allows us to reduce taxes while improving public health by eliminating an unnecessary tax on very necessary items,” state Rep. Bryan Posthumus, R-Kent County, said in a statement. “In my view, this isn’t a gender issue or a partisan issue, this is about putting money back into the pockets of Michigan families – and we did that here.”

According to the nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency, if both bills are enacted they will reduce the General Fund by about $5.7 million per year. In comparison, it would reduce constitutional revenue sharing to local units by about $600,000.

The bill requires the General Fund to reimburse the School Aid Fund for any revenue loss, but not the reimbursement of any reduction in constitutional revenue sharing to local units.

“Today, Michigan finally took a huge step forward in joining the ranks of states who have eliminated the ‘tampon tax,'” Sen. Mallory McMorrow, D- Royal Oak, said in a statement. “While it’s a small savings per purchase, those taxes have historically added up over a lifetime for one half of Michigan’s population, and not the other. It’s a small change with a big impact.”

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