Proponents have previously called for eliminating sales tax on products such as tampons, sanitary napkins and panty liners.
THE TEXAS TRIBUNE – Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar and State Sen. Joan HuffmanR-Houston, have added their support to a year-long call by some state lawmakers and women’s health advocates to scrap taxes on menstrual products like tampons, sanitary napkins and panty liners.
Hegar and Huffman said they would support efforts in next year’s legislature to make such products tax-free.
Other medical necessities, such as medication and bandages, are available exempt from sales tax in Texas. have supporters demanded the repeal of the tax, arguing that menstrual products should be classified as “wound care dressings” that prevent bacterial infection and “maintain a moist or dry wound environment”. Since wound dressings such as band-aids are exempt from sales tax, advocates of eliminating sales tax on menstrual products argue that taxing them constitutes sex discrimination.
Menstrual products are already tax free in 24 states. Texas is among the states where consumers still pay taxes on these products.
Previous attempts to repeal the sales tax in Texas have failed and are likely to face further hurdles during next year’s legislature. Proposals to eliminate sales tax on menstrual products led by state rep Donna HowardD-Austin, have come before the legislature every session since 2017. None of these bills made it to the governor’s desk.
But Huffman’s endorsement of the measure as chair of the Senate Treasury Committee — that department’s budget chief — is notable. The Feminine Hygiene Tax Abolition Bill of 2017 died in this committee.
“Every woman knows that these products are not optional. They are essential to our health and well-being and should be tax-exempt,” she said in a press release on Thursday announcing her support.
Hegar pointed to Texas’ strong economy and state revenues when declaring his support for the tax repeal. With prices and inflation rising, Hegar said the ability to exempt these products from taxation is a key need for Texans.
“Texas can easily absorb these revenue shortfalls, but for countless Texas women, this represents significant savings in their personal budgets over time,” Hegar said in a press release. “This is a small amount of money compared to the total revenue for Texas.”
Hegar’s most recent sales estimate for the next two years, beginning in mid-July, puts Texas at $27 billion. Sales tax revenue on menstrual accessories over the next two years would account for about 0.1% of that amount.
In Texas and across the country, institutions are working to improve access to menstrual products. Austin Independent School District in the summer spent over $150,000 Provide students with free menstrual products in bathrooms.
Correction: A version of the bill to eliminate taxes on some menstrual products was approved by a committee in 2021 but never made it to the governor’s desk.
This story originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.
Texas Tribune mission statement
The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that educates and collaborates with Texans on public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
How Much Rain Has Central Texas Received So Far?
Leander, Cedar Park, affected by an underwater leak in a pipeline bringing water from Lake Travis
LIST: Things to do during Austin Pride weekend
https://www.kvue.com/article/news/local/texas/texas-tax-collector-and-senate-budget-chief-say-they-support-repealing-the-tampon-tax/269-8b9293f1-706a-425d-9a5b-87f9754a700b Texas tax collector and Senate budget chief say they support repealing the “tampon tax.”