After a 2020 lawsuit filed by three women against the state of Michigan for sex-based discrimination, a new law is being pushed to eliminate taxes placed on feminine hygiene products. This marks the ninth version of this bill in Michigan over the past six years. The two bills being presented, HB 4270 (lead sponsor Tenisha Yancey D-Detroit) and HB 5267 (Bryan Posthumus R-Oakfield Township), define feminine hygiene products as “tampons, panty liners, menstrual cups, sanitary napkins, and other similar tangible personal property designed for feminine hygiene in connection with the human menstrual cycle.”
On Tuesday, Yancey spoke in favor of her bill, “We don’t buy these products because they are convenient. We buy them before we need them.” Democrats are pushing for the bill for both gender and economic reasons. Due to the fact that these products are primarily used by women, the tax placed upon them only affects women. The 6% tax on these products also makes it difficult for women with lower incomes to be able to afford them, often having to choose between their children’s health or their own.
Posthumus, the lone Republican pushing for the bills, stated he supports the tax cut because “it’s not a partisan issue, it is not a gender issue. It is common-sense legislation that we should be pushing forward with.” He is hoping the tax elimination alone, an issue Republicans typically side with, will urge more to join their side and vote for the bills to pass.
With 13 states now with zero tax on feminine hygiene products, there is hope that this bill can be passed. If so, it will go into effect after 90 days, to which Yancey’s response is, “We’ve waited so many years, so 90 days won’t hurt us.”
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