Legislature introduces bill to end the "tampon tax"
The national conversation on removing taxes on tampons and sanitary pads has come to Michigan.
State Reps. Tenisha Yancey, D-Harper Woods, and Brian Elder, D-Bay City, have introduced legislation to exempt menstrual hygiene products from Michigan’s 6 percent sales tax.
“There is no reason someone should expect to pay extra for medical necessities simply because they’re a woman,” Elder said in a statement. “This is an expense that has been unfairly forced upon half of our population.”
Elder introduced similar legislation in 2017.
MSU Vagina Monologues co-director Pierce Wiselogle said this was an important step in the right direction.
“Personally, I’ve seen a lot of friends who are not as economically well-off have to make the choice of, 'Do I want food or do I want period products?' It’s a super awful decision to have to make,” she said.
The state House and Senate recently passed sales tax exemptions for dental prosthetics, fundraising sales by nonprofit organizations, school bus leases and some agricultural equipment, according to a press release. Elder and Yancey said the government should treat tampons and pads similarly.
On campus, the Associated Students of MSU, or ASMSU, has recently taken steps to make these products freely available to MSU students.
Ten other states have exempted menstrual hygiene products from their sales tax, including Minnesota, New York, Connecticut and Illinois.
“It’s super important to recognize the fact that this is something that people who have periods have no control over. It also isn’t something that we should be punished for,” Wiselogle said.
Read the Huffington Post's breakdown on the cost of periods over a person’s lifetime here.