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“Tampon Tax” exemptions pass state House of Representatives

A woman pulls an menstrual pad from her black purse.
Sora Shimazaki
Michigan would join more than a dozen states to add menstrual product exemptions to the tax code if the bills become law.

The state House has passed a pair of bills to end Michigan’s sales and use taxes on menstrual products.

HB 4270 and HB 5267 would add sales and use tax exemptions to products like tampons, pads, and menstrual cups.

The effort to end Michigan’s so-called “tampon tax” has lasted years.

State Rep. Tenisha Yancey (D-Harper Woods) is a bill sponsor.

She said she feels like the effort gained traction this year because the governor announced it as a priority going into the budget process.

“I don’t know if it’s because we now have a female governor who understands it or if it’s because it was just the right timing in terms of what the budget looked like,” Yancey said.

She said, in the past, efforts have always fallen short because of concerns of what removing the tax would do to state revenue.

A House Fiscal Agency analysis of the bills notes the state currently collects a 6% sales tax on menstruation-related goods as “luxury items.”

Meanwhile this past summer, a lawsuit failed to overturn Michigan’s so-called “tampon tax” as a violation of state and federal equal protection guarantees.

This year, Republican members of the legislature are also supportive.

“For whatever reason, they decided to get on board. And I’m very happy that they did so because without both parties, without both sides of the aisle and the governor, it wouldn’t have moved,” Yancey said.

State Rep. Bryan Posthumus (R-Oakfield Township) is also among the bills’ main sponsors.

“To my knowledge, we have yet to cut taxes directly for individuals since January of 2019. But today—today we have an opportunity to directly cut taxes for families and individuals,” Posthumus said from the House floor.

The bills next head to the Senate. Michigan would join more than a dozen states to add such exemptions if they become law.