Tax breaks on essential products are on the way!

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BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) — The state legislature wrapped up on Thursday, and one bill aims to end the pink tax. 

You’ve likely heard of the pink tax, but what exactly is it? It is how some people describe sales taxes on essential products marketed toward women.  

HB 7 extends the tax break from items like food and medications to essential menstrual and family products.

“This is the bill that exempts feminine products and diapers, including adult diapers, for the women and children and families of Louisiana,” said State Representative Aimee Freeman. 

Freeman took up the bill when she entered office in 2019, but for the last five years, a group called Lift Louisiana has led the effort in informing lawmakers.

“All of that work over the last five years of educating lawmakers on this issue and raising public awareness about it finally paid off in this bill passing this session,” said Lift Louisiana Cofounder Michelle Erenberg.

She says some people may have to decide between menstrual products or diapers and putting food on the table.

“These products can actually be quite expensive… These are obviously essential items that women and families need to take care of themselves and to be healthy,” said Erenberg.

While sales tax may not seem like a big deal, “It really does add up for families and for women over the course of their lifetime having to buy these products every single month,” said Erenberg.

The bill eliminates the state sales tax on these items, but it also leaves the door open for local governments to do the same with their local sales taxes.

Erenberg says now is an important time for this bill to pass, “this is significant especially right now when so many families are struggling because of the economic impacts of the covid-19 shutdown.”

The bill went to Governor Edward’s desk for his signature and will go into effect in 2022. 

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