New bill in Wisconsin Legislature seeks to eliminate sales tax on diapers, tampons

New bill in Wisconsin Legislature seeks to eliminate sales tax on diapers, tampons

A local state representative wants to eliminate the sales and use tax on diapers and tampons.

Madison Rep. Melissa Sargent helped introduce the bill Friday, which was good news to the executive director of the Dane County Diaper Bank.

Megan Sollenberger said she gives away more than 10,000 diapers a month to 120 families in the area, and it covers only a fraction of the need. She’s been meeting with lawmakers since the beginning of the year hoping to get one to introduce legislation like this.

A new bipartisan bill from @rep_melissa + others seeks to eliminate sales tax on diapers, tampons, sanitary napkins and undergarments for incontinence. Similar bills last year had an estimated impact of $2.4 million on state sales tax revenue, but supporters say it’s worth it.

— Amy Reid (@amyreidreports) December 24, 2019

“I think that some people minimize the impact that just a few dollars a month might have on a family,” she said. “But I think that’s really overlooking the bigger problem of the deep-rooted impact that poverty has on a family.”

The National Diaper Bank Network says diapers can cost a family $70 to $80 per month per baby, leaving one in three families struggling to provide clean diapers for their kids.

“It breaks my heart to know that there are kids in this county that are going to bed at night without something as simple as a clean diaper,” Sollenberger said.

In addition to diapers and tampons, the bill seeks to exempt sanitary napkins and undergarments for incontinence from sales and use tax as well.

“Menstrual products, diapers, and undergarments for incontinence are not a luxury or optional, they are necessities,” Sargent wrote in a news release about the bill. “(This bill) simply works to recognize these products as the necessities that they are.”

Sargent has introduced similar bills in years prior that had an estimated impact of $2.4 million on sales tax revenue.

Information on the Dane County Diaper Bank can be found here.

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