Michigan’s ‘tampon tax’ officially nixed

Gov. Whitmer signs bipartisan package into law, eliminating sales tax on menstruation products

Michigan will no longer apply the 6% sales tax to tampons and other menstrual products under bipartisan legislation signed Thursday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The state of Michigan will no longer apply its 6% sales tax to tampons and other menstrual products, thanks to bipartisan legislation that was signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

On Friday, Whitmer signed the second of a two-bill bipartisan package that will get rid of sales tax on menstrual products, officially eliminating the state’s so-called “tampon tax.”

Update Feb. 3, 2022: The Legislature’s repeal of the tampon tax in Michigan officially goes into effect.

“I never dreamed number one: we’d get it done; number two: that it would take this long to get it done; and number three: that I’d be the one who gets to sign this bill into law,” Whitmer said. “So I’m really happy about that.”

Despite the necessity, Michigan residents have paid a 6% tax when buying tampons, pads and other menstrual products.

“This is the kind of tax where the consumer bears all the burden, because there’s no choice but to buy menstrual products,” said Dr. Betsey Stevenson, professor of economics at the University of Michigan. “Because there’s no choice, the people who sell it pass that tax straight onto the women who buy it.”

Ember Bradbury, a grad student at the University of Michigan, says she found that there is an “incredible need for reusable, sustainable products, as well as the single use.” After starting the Sustainable Period Project on campus, Bradbury says the group purchased about 500 items and made them available to the public for free at a food pantry -- and those products were all gone in a matter of days.

Michigan’s bipartisan effort has gained support from both men and women.

“It’s a completely natural, biological thing ... that should never be taxed,” said Hank Peters-Wood. “You can’t choose to have a period, and it’s something that needs to be talked about, needs to be addressed as the normal thing it is.”

According to Whitmer, the move to eliminate the tampon tax will save Michigan families from paying taxes on up to $4,800 over the course of a lifetime.

“Any dollar, any dime that we don’t have to spend on things that are absolutely essential is money that stays in people’s pockets or could go toward things like rent or child care, and that’s something that’s really important,” Whitmer told Local 4.

This portion of the bill goes into effect 90 days after signing, which will be early February.

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Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism