LANSING, Mich. – There is a push to end the Michigan sales and use tax on diapers for both infants and adults.
State Representative Julie Alexander (R) introduced House Bills 5611 and 5612 back in December. On Tuesday, she testified in front of the Families, Children, and Seniors Committee committee.
Currently, 10 states don’t have a sales tax on diapers and she wants Michigan to be the next state to do so.
Julie Alexander represents the 64th House District which includes the city of Jackson. She said after Gov. Whitmer signed legislation to exempt feminine hygiene products from sales and use tax one of her constituents brought up diapers because it impacts more Michiganders.
“An average of $80 a month per child is spent on those diapers,” Julie Alexander said.
That price is going up and she wants to help the families who are having to deal with it. She said the exemption for adult diapers could cost the state $5 million to $8 million and for baby diapers $12 million to $16 million. Julie Alexander argues it’s worth it.
“That’s true tax relief for families of Michigan and I believe we need to prioritize our dollars and put those monies back in the taxpayer’s hands so I would prioritize them at a higher level,” Julie Alexander said.
Chasity Alexander, assistant director of family services at Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency said the need for this tax exemption is there.
“Some parents have to choose between diapers or gas, or paying this bill or diapers,” Chasity Alexander said.
At the beginning of the pandemic, when diapers were hard to find, the non-profit would give out 300 diapers a month. That number has since gone down to 150 boxes.
“If you have you know, bills that you need to pay and you can barely make ends meet, being able to save, it doesn’t sound like a lot because of the 6% sales tax, but it actually will benefit them a lot,” Chasity Alexander said.
If you live in Wayne County and need help getting diapers for your child you can call 313-388-9799 to learn more about the program.
Rep. Alexander said Senator Tom Barrett (R) is working on this legislation on the senate side. She hopes it will be put to a vote as soon as next week.