LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan will no longer apply the 6% sales tax to tampons and other menstrual products under legislation signed Thursday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
The change will take effect in early February.
Supporters of the new law said the feminine products are a necessity, not a luxury, and should be exempt from taxation like other medically necessary items.
“If a person does not have regular access to these medically necessary products, it can be dangerous, even life-threatening, as well as increase the stigma associated with menstruation, especially for our young teens.” –Gilda Z. Jacobs, president and CEO of Michigan League for Public Policy
“It has taken many years and many bill reintroductions by legislators old and new, but we have finally reached the finish line to repeal an unfair tax levied on those who menstruate,” said Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) in a statement. “I am proud to get legislation that I spearheaded for 6 years to Governor Whitmer’s desk, and grateful to have played a part in making these necessary products more affordable for Michiganders.”
The bill had bipartisan support. Rep. Bryan Posthumus (R-Cannon Township) said passing the legislation was not a partisan or gender issue but one that helps families.
“This legislation allows us to reduce taxes while improving public health by eliminating an unnecessary tax on very necessary items,” he said. “In my view, this isn’t a gender issue or a partisan issue, this is about putting money back into the pockets of Michigan families — and we did that here.”
Advocates welcomed the news. Gilda Z. Jacobs, president and CEO of Michigan League for Public Policy, called the signing of the bill a “positive step for gender and economic equity.
“Hygiene products like tampons and sanitary napkins are medically necessary products, and we should be looking at ways to make them more affordable and available for Michigan residents,” she said. Jacobs added that struggling families should not have to decide between purchasing menstrual products and other necessities like food, diapers and more. “If a person does not have regular access to these medically necessary products, it can be dangerous, even life-threatening, as well as increase the stigma associated with menstruation, especially for our young teens.”
About 15 states with sales taxes do not tax menstrual hygiene products.
The law will reduce Michigan’s sales and use tax revenue by roughly $6.3 million a year, a sliver of $11 billion in sales and use tax collections.
Whitmer signed HB 5267, half of a bipartisan package to repeal the tax on menstrual products. The governor will sign the second bill in the package tomorrow.