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Lawmakers renew push to end ‘Tampon Tax’ amid lawsuit against the state

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 4:31 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Democrats in the state legislature are trying to get the tax on feminine hygiene products repealed for the third time.

Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Royal Oak), Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak), Rep. Tenisha Yancey (D-Harper Woods) , and Rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy) introduced a bill package to repeal the tampon tax on Thursday.

“It’s money that could go into retirement, to go into education, could go into saving for a children’s education. It’s just an unnecessary tax that takes those dollars out of women’s pockets and prevents us from being able to spend it on other much more productive things,” said Brinks.

This isn’t their first time trying to get the tax repealed. Brinks says what’s different this time is a lawsuit against the state aimed at ending the tax and refunding people.

“The lawsuit alleges that this text is discriminatory towards women categorically. So, the pressure that is added to resolve this issue in statute is just a lot greater this year, and the consequences of not doing so could cost the state a lot of money,” said Brinks.

She also believes Republicans who control the state legislature would be on board.

“Folks that I’ve talked to in the Senate for sure, hoping to cutting taxes right. So that is often a Republican idea,” said Brinks.

They’ve also amended previous legislation introduced to include language assuring the tax repeal would not harm the school aid fund.

“In the past, they’ve been reluctant to do this. I think we know for political reasons there have been people who are just a little bit squeamish about talking about the issue. And I think it’s certainly time to get over that talk about the realities of what this means for women, economics in Michigan and throughout the nation,” said Brinks.

There are 20 states that currently do not pay taxes on menstrual products.

The bills have been formally introduced, so the next step would be a committee hearing.

Governor Whitmer has already signaled support on Twitter, so if the bills are approved by the house and senate she’ll likely sign them.

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