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Committee Says "No" to Tax-Free Tampons, Diapers

Mickey_Liaw via Creative Commons

A proposal to eliminate sales tax on personal hygiene products like diapers and tampons was rejected Wednesday in a House Revenue and Taxation Committee.

The bill would have deducted the 4.7 percent sales tax currently imposed on most products in the state. It was expected to cost more than a million dollars in lost revenue. But Democratic State Representative and sponsor of House Bill 202, Susan Duckworth says it would have meant savings for people with incontinence, women who experience menstrual periods and parents buying diapers. 

“Those things are not a luxury,” Duckworth says. “They are a necessity. And with prescriptions not being taxed, I believe these items should also be on that list.”

Republican Representative and committee chair Dan McCay says the necessity argument could potentially be made about other items as well.

“We have done a lot of work as a committee to remove exemptions, and make it so that the tax system is predictable and not have subjective variations on what the exemptions are and what they are not,” McCay says.

Democrats on the committee made the case that women disproportionately bear the burden of these expenses.

President Barack Obama spoke out on the issue recently in an interview, saying he had no idea why feminine hygiene products were taxed. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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