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'We're extremely, extremely excited': Local nonprofit director reacts to pending repeal of state 'tampon tax'

Posted at 10:48 PM, Oct 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 08:40:20-04

LANSING, Mich. — After a five-year effort, legislation that would eliminate Michigan’s so-called “tampon tax” is heading to Governor Whitmer’s desk.

Today, the state Senate approved the bills with bipartisan support.

READ MORE: Michigan Senate approves end to tax on menstrual products

Right now, menstrual products like tampons face a 6% sales tax, adding anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars onto a purchase. Advocates say that is unfair for necessary items.

“We’re extremely, extremely excited,” says Emily Beggs, an East Grand Rapids mom who runs a local chapter of "I Support the Girls."

"I Support the Girls" is an international nonprofit that gives essential items, like tampons and sanitary pads, to women in need.

“We’re just trying to help alleviate the burden of the financial aspects of it, but also help them maintain their dignity,” Beggs explains. She calls the “tampon tax” discriminatory, saying it targets women, who need the items each month.

“That can add up over time,” says Beggs, “especially when you’re trying to work on a really tight budget and you’re trying to plan your meals and where the rent is coming from, gas for your car.”

According to Michigan Legislatures, the tax generates about $7 million each year, which accounts for less than 1% of the state’s budget.

Beggs says the abolitions is not only a win for women’s wallets but their status.

“Women feel more respect and acceptance for something that happens naturally,” says Beggs. “Periods are a stigma; people don’t like to talk about them. It’s kind of a 'ehh' topic, and a woman does not want to feel like something that’s so natural to her body is 'ew, taboo,' so I think just getting the conversation started is a huge win on top of the financial aspect of it.”

Governor Whitmer is expected to sign this bill, but it’s not clear when. That law would take effect 90 days after it’s signed off.

According to the bill’s co-sponsor, more than 20 states have eliminated sales taxes on feminine hygiene products.

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