Howard has been fighting to repeal the sales tax on menstrual products ever since she became aware of the issue in 2017, six years and four legislative sessions ago. “There was a universal consciousness-raising that happened around that time,” she said. It was the year that the National Diaper Bank Network, a nonprofit dedicated to supplying diapers and other essential items to families in need, decided to expand its distribution and advocacy to menstrual products.
AUSTIN — The Texas House on Tuesday tentatively passed a bill that repeals the state sales tax on diapers, period products, baby wipes, and
other similar materials.
After a voice vote, House Bill 300, by Austin Democratic Rep. Donna Howard, now awaits a final vote on the House floor before it can head to the Senate.
Howard has tried for multiple sessions to pass similar legislation but the bills have never passed. The bill has bipartisan support with several Republican authors and coauthors. The bill removes the 6¼-cent sales tax from a number of products, which supporters said would help low-income families who might not have extra money to spare.
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas House passed a bipartisan bill Wednesday with near unanimous support. The bill aims to takethe financial burden off new families by removing the sales tax for crucial baby items, like diapers and formula.
Barbara Johnson is the CEO of Hope Supply Co., a diaper bank that’s served North Texas for decades. "We do three million diapers a year, that’s 250,000 a month going out to our 50 partner agencies," she explained. She said the removal of the sales tax seems small, but over time, it’ll bring some real savings to families. "If a family does not have to pay sales tax on diapers, we calculated that would give them enough money to buy a whole month worth of diapers for one child," Johnson said.
At a House hearing in early March, dozens of people spoke or filed written testimony in favor of the bill. Emily Adams, vice chair of the Austin Diaper Bank, testified with her infant daughter, Opal, in her arms. She said this bill would help the Texas economy, noting that some families are unable to send their children to day care because they can’t afford the required diapers.
“Not only are children missing out on critical early learning experiences and academic and social development, parents and caregivers are forced to drop out of the workforce, resulting in a loss of wages,” Adams said. “Without employee prospects, small businesses face a hiring desert.”