By Allison R. Donahue, Michigan Advance
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Thursday signed into law the first bill in a package eliminating the tax on menstrual products.
“After years of trying to repeal this tax, I am proud that we are bringing people together to put Michiganders first and drive down costs on these essential products,” said Whitmer in a statement. “Everyone should be able to take care of their most basic healthcare needs without an unnecessary added financial burden. Tomorrow, I will sign the second bill in the package to repeal this tax and cut costs for families as we usher in a new era of prosperity for Michigan.”
House Bill 5267, introduced by state Rep. Bryan Posthumus (R-Cannon Twp.), exempts menstrual products from the state’s sales tax, saving families an estimated $4,800 over the course of a lifetime.
“This legislation allows us to reduce taxes while improving public health by eliminating an unnecessary tax on very necessary items. In my view, this isn’t a gender issue or a partisan issue, this is about putting money back into the pockets of Michigan families — and we did that here,” Posthumus said.
Whitmer plans on Friday to sign the second bill in the package, Senate Bill 153, introduced by Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids), which will end the state’s use tax on feminine hygiene products.
“It has taken many years and many bill reintroductions by legislators old and new, but we have finally reached the finish line to repeal an unfair tax levied on those who menstruate,” said Brinks. “I am proud to get legislation that I spearheaded for 6 years to Governor Whitmer’s desk, and grateful to have played a part in making these necessary products more affordable for Michiganders.”
Gilda Z. Jacobs, President and CEO, Michigan League for Public Policy, said the signing of this legislation is a “positive step for gender and economic equity.”
“Households that struggle to make ends meet should not have to make the difficult decision about whether to purchase menstrual products or pay for other necessities, like food, prescriptions or other medications, or diapers for a child. If a person does not have regular access to these medically necessary products, it can be dangerous, even life-threatening, as well as increase the stigma associated with menstruation, especially for our young teens,” Jacobs said.
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