New Michigan House Bills aim to exempt diapers from sales tax

New Michigan House Bills aim to exempt diapers from sales tax
Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 6:07 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan could become the 37th state to not have a tax on diapers.

State lawmakers are introducing a plan to exempt diapers from sales and use taxes.

Whether you’re caring for a baby or entering your senior years, diapers are a product many people will buy at some time in their life. Michigan Rep. Julie Alexander is trying to make that purchase more affordable.

“It would just give us one more opportunity to help those families,” Alexander said. “Diapers are expensive right?”

Michigan residents are currently charged with 6% sales tax when purchasing child and adult diapers. Use taxes are implemented when diapers are purchased wholesale. Alexander is pushing legislation -- House Bills 5611 and 5612 -- which would apply the tax exemption to diapers for both infants and adults.

Advocates for young families said the bill would be a big help.

“It means that families would expenses from paying sales tax, they could actually use towards additional diapers or their other household needs,” said Kimberly Steed-Page, the director at MSU’s Student Parent Resource Center. “I think it would be very critical in supporting their families.”

Steed-Page said on average, Michigan families spend about $56 in sales tax on diapers every year. For the young parents she works with, those costs add up.

“So the cost saving -- which may seem nominal at $56 or so -- but when you’re spending upwards of close to anywhere between on average $800 to $1,000 each year on diapers, that is significant cost savings,” Steed-Page said. “And really, when you’re on a budget, every dollar that you can save is a good thing.”

Rep. Alexander said as the Baby Boomer generation enters their senior years, diapers are an essential need for people of all ages.

“It’s because of the people I’ve heard from back home. The young families with young children and families that are senior citizens and those numbers continue to grow,” Alexander said. “Our senior numbers for the incontinence products are being used more and more every day. So it really effects families and their livelihood.”

Alexander’s plan comes one month after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation exempting sales tax on feminine hygiene products.

Alexander represents Michigan’s 64th House District, which covers most of Jackson County.

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