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Michigan ends its tampon sales tax

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

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

Supporters of the decision have said the current 6% levy is discriminatory in nature.

“It’s a tax only a half of the population, and it’s a tax on women, taxing them for something that occurs naturally in their lives. They’re being made to pay extra for something that’s out of their control," Emily Beggs, Director of the 'I Support the Girls' affiliate in Grand Rapids, said.

Beggs said she's seen the community’s need for period products firsthand after launching the group in March of 2019. So far it’s donate more than 210,000 feminine items, around half of which she says are menstrual products.

“Every penny counts to women who are struggling. We live by budgets most people do...those budgets get so tight and it becomes do I chose where I’m putting my money as far as food for my family or the ability to buy menstrual products for myself," she said.

According to the National Organization for Women and the Rhode Island Medical Journal, the average person spends about $20 on feminine hygiene products per cycle. That adds up to about $18,000 over a lifetime.

The new law will reduce state sales and use tax revenue by roughly $6.3 million a year, compared to the $11 billion in annual sales and use tax collections.

Michigan joins over 20 other states that have either ended the sales tax on menstrual products or never had one, according to Period Equity, a legal organization that advocates for making menstrual products tax-exempt.

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