Wayne County Commission calls for ending tax on menstrual products

Posted at 3:30 PM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 15:30:14-04

The Wayne County Commission is calling on the state to end its tax on menstrual products.

Commissioners call the tax an "especially unfair" burden on people of limited means.

In approving the resolution, commissioners noted that menstrual products,including tampons and sanitary napkins, are considered luxury items under the existing state tax code, instead of necessities.

Commissioner Melissa Daub, who sponsored the resolution, noted that studies have indicated that a lack of access to such products forces nearly 20 percent of young women to miss school days each year and that “period poverty” disproportionally affects women of color and immigrants.

Two Michigan Senate bills, S.B. 153 and S.B. 154, were introduced this year to eliminate the tax, but neither has received a public hearing yet. The state also faces a lawsuit alleging the tax violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The resolution also noted that 20 other U.S. states currently do not tax menstrual products.

The tax was among the initial items discussed by the Wayne County Women’s Commission, which was formed this year to address issues of concern to women in Wayne County.

Commissioner Daub is the county commission’s representative on that 15-member body, which also features appointees from every county commission district.