Dems try to ax tampon tax again

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    Michigan could become the 11th state to eliminate the tax on feminine hygiene products if legislation introduced this week is signed into law.

    Tenisha Yancey

    State Reps. Brian Elder (D-Bay City) and Tenisha Yancey (D-Harper Woods) announced they’re introducing House Bills 4165 and 4166 that exempt tampons, pads and other products from Michigan’s 6-percent sales and use tax. The School Aid Fund would be held harmless from any loss of revenue. The bills aren’t online yet.

    “Women already face economic disparities in their paycheck every payday; there is no reason we should also be forced to pay this additional tax for taking care of our reproductive health,” said Yancey. “It is time for Michigan to remove this unnecessary financial burden once and for all.”

    The 10 states that exempt tampons and sanitary napkins from sales tax are: New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois, Minnesota, Maryland, Florida and Nevada. It’s estimated that over the course of their lifetime, women use nearly 17,000 tampons and sanitary napkins.

    “I just think women, and men who share a joint checking account with women, deserve a tax cut …” Elder posted on Facebook.

    He added that Michigan “already exempts other necessities like food, medicine, certain medical equipment and even newspapers from the sales tax. There is no reason we cannot provide this economic relief, as well.”

    In 2017, Elder introduced similar legislation and other bills passed a Senate committee, but no further action was taken. Legislation has been introduced in previous sessions, as well.

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    Susan J. Demas is an 18-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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