The State of Michigan’s 6% sales tax on tampons and other menstrual goods officially ended Thursday. A bipartisan bill removing the tax, which is applied to “luxury goods,” went into effect 90 days after Governor Gretchen Whitmer, D-Mich., signed it into law. The bill is applicable to tampons, panty liners, menstrual cups, sanitary napkins and other products connected with the menstrual cycle.
This bill comes after other states including California, New York and Connecticut passed bills eliminating the tax on menstrual products. Currently, 27 states continue to levy a sales tax on feminine hygiene products.
The average menstruating Michigander uses about 17,000 pads or tampons, which can add up to $4,800 in just sales tax, according to Whitmer’s press release.
In an interview with The Michigan Daily, Whitmer said this bill has been in the works for 10 years.
“I’m thrilled because we know that the purchase of these essential items is not discretionary,” Whitmer said. “It’s an absolute essential need, and when we tax it, we disproportionately hurt women and girls in Michigan, and that’s why it’s so important that we eliminate this tax: so anyone who menstruates in the state of Michigan now will not have to pay this additional burden.”
Period Equity, a nonprofit founded by women, has led a nationwide movement in repealing the “tampon tax.” In 2016, the organization filed a lawsuit against the State of Michigan, alleging the state’s tax was unconstitutional because it discriminated on the basis of sex.
This bill is part of a greater effort to make menstrual products more accessible. In November, Ann Arbor became the first city in the country to require free sanitary products in public restrooms for menstruating individuals.
Whitmer said this bill will improve the quality of life for menstruating individuals across the state.
“People spend thousands of dollars (on menstrual products) over the course of a lifetime,” Whitmer said. “This is a meaningful improvement in terms of the bottom line for people like my daughters and me, all of us who menstruate.”
Daily News Editor Kate Weiland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.