Legislation reintroduced to repeal Michigan's 'tampon tax'

Posted at 10:56 AM, Feb 18, 2021

(WXYZ) — State senators and representatives have reintroduced legislation to exempt feminine hygiene products from the sales and use tax in Michigan, referred to as the "tampon tax."

Currently, tampons, sanitary napkins and similar feminine hygiene products are subject to the state's 6% sales and use tax.

Senate Bills 153 and 154 and House Bills 4270 and 4271 would prevent the tax from being applied.

“I’m pleased to see the governor support our efforts to make women’s needs tax exempt like any other medically necessary purchase in Michigan,” Sen. Mallory McMorrow said. “What may seem like small change in taxes adds up month after month. Eliminating this tax burden will give women more spending power to put back into our economy.”Recently, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer introduced her Fiscal Year 2022 budget recommendations, which includes a provision that would end the Michigan sales and use tax on menstrual products.

“With the start of a new legislative session, we must make it our priority to repeal the tax on feminine hygiene products once and for all,” said Sen. Winnie Brinks. “This tax is a hardship for those who are already having difficulty making ends meet, and it’s something only those who menstruate are forced to pay. There should be no reason to maintain such inequity.”

So far, 20 states exempt menstrual hygiene products from sales tax, including Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and Washington.

In August 2020, a lawsuit was filed against the State of Michigan in the Michigan Court of Claims by three women, stating that the 6% sales tax violates both the Michigan and U.S. Constitutions under the Equal Protections Act. The goal of the lawsuit is to end the taxation of feminine hygiene products and refund people who menstruate.