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Michigan repeals tax on menstrual products

Posted at 6:00 PM, Nov 04, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan no longer has a tax on period products.

Advocates argued for years that pads, tampons and similar products aren't luxury items and that the tax made them less accessible to low income residents.

“We’ve been trying to get this done for a long time. By repealing the tax on menstrual products, we are saving families from having to pay taxes, $4,800 of spending over the course of a lifetime," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday.

Lysne Tait, the executive director of Helping Women Period, has been working on getting the tampon tax repealed in Michigan for six years.

“We’ve gotten all excited when we see it get promoted and then frustrated when it gets stuck in committee so I am so excited, and I really never thought we would get to this point, I really didn’t it just feels unreal almost," Tait said.

Back in October Tait helped organize a rally at the Michigan Capitol to call on lawmakers to get the job done. Tait had help from inside the legislature, too. State Rep. Padma Kuppa, D-Troy, cosponsored the bill to repeal the tampon tax.

“I met with so many students groups. There’s some young high schoolers from Novi. I met with MSU’s students. I met with Period the organization," Kuppa said. "I’m very happy to see the promise that this gives to so many people who menstruate that they don’t have to pay tax on necessities anymore.”

The 6 percent sales and use tax made period products less accessible, and, for those living near the poverty line, difficult to afford.

Student advocates said they now have their sights set on schools.

“Seeing products be made available in our school bathrooms is something that we’ve pushed for in our school but it would have an even wider impact if that was also passed in legislation," said Medha Maroju, a student advocate and high school senior from Novi. "It’s important for students to feel comfortable in school and have everything that they need to be successful in school and menstrual products are one of those things that should be included in that.”

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