GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Michigan legislators are continuing the push to remove sales taxes on hygiene products. Last week the so-called tampon tax was removed from all menstrual products in the stateand now legislators have their eyes on doing the same for diapers for both kids and adults.
Legislators say they're hopeful the pair of bills introduced to remove the sales tax pass due to the success of the tampon tax repeal.
“How can we say we want to take the tax off of one group of individuals, but not for families with small children or seniors," Republican Michigan State Representative Julie Alexander asked.
Rep. Alexander introduced House Bills 5611 and 5612 back in December. Republican Senator Tom Barrett is working on the legislation on the senate side.
"They are very costly to families. And this would just help the families with the removing the tax," Rep. Alexander said.
10 states have already removed the tax on diapers and Rep. Alexander wants Michigan to be next on that list.
"I thought it's time that we have that dialogue here in Michigan," she added.
Disposable diapers for a single baby will cost around $70 a month or $840 a year. It's a reality mothers of multiple children, like Nicole Burman of Grand Rapids, have to grapple with constantly.
"Families in Kent County, especially since the pandemic have been struggling. I know I've struggled over the years, when my kids were really little, especially when having more than one child in a diaper makes it really, really difficult," Burman said.
It's why Burman got involved as a parent liaison with The Great Start Collaborative of Kent County and their Diaper Drive, an effort to collect donated diapers and give them to families in need.
"We've collected over 1 million diapers and counting," Burman said.
The organization is only 36,000 donations away from hitting their 2 million mark. Nonetheless, Burman says it's no match for how many diapers families truly need and believes the tax repeal would help.
"It is just a small thing, but a small thing adds up," she said.
Rep. Alexander is hoping the bills are on the Governor's desk by spring.
The Great Start Collaborative of Kent County is always looking for diaper donations and for individuals to host diaper drives of their own. If you're interested you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website.