Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a measure this week exempting some feminine hygiene products and diapers from the state's sales tax.
Tampons, menstrual sponges, menstruation pads, sanitary napkins, panty liners, and menstrual cups, including disposable and washable variants, are free from the "pink tax." Diapers, which include any absorbent diaper or undergarment, are also exempted.
Louisiana Governor signed pink tax break into law
Louisiana receives roughly $11 million in tax income from the items each year. The act also allows local taxing authorities to exclude the items from their own taxes. According to a Forbes report from February 2021, 30 states maintained to charge feminine hygiene products while 15 states exempted them from sales and use taxes. Representative Aimee Adatto Freeman of New Orleans introduced House Bill 7 (Act 449), which Gov. Edwards signed into law on Thursday.
Per the Associated Press, senators voted 33-1 in favor of the pink tax while House members voted 63-36 in favor of the negotiated settlement. The bill was passed as part of a larger tax package that legislators approved in the last days of the session.
The tax exemption was intended to begin in July 2022 to give the state time to arrange for the projected $11 million in lost annual tax collections. So Louisiana women and families will have to wait a bit before they won't have to pay sales taxes on diapers, tampons, and other feminine hygiene products.
How can a pink tax break help Louisiana women, families?
Diapers for children and adults, as well as all sorts of feminine hygiene products, will be free from the state's 4.45 percent sales tax and any local sales taxes that may be applied. According to a nonpartisan financial assessment of the legislation, women and families in the state spend roughly $249 million on these items each year. The tax discount will bring necessary products in line with prescription medications, which are currently tax-free.
This bill tackles the higher rates women pay for basic hygiene items when compared to their male counterparts. This is referred to as the Pink Tax by certain economists and researchers, and it typically applies to all items sold to women.
Tampons, panty liners, menstruation pads, sanitary napkins, menstrual sponges, and menstrual cups, including disposable and washable versions of these products, are defined as feminine hygiene products in the bill. After Gov. Edwards signed the bill into law, Democratic New Orleans' Rep. Aimee Addato Freeman expressed his gratitude to those who helped end the pink tax on Twitter, The Advertiser reported.
Governor Edwards signed HB7 into law as Act 449. Starting July 1, 2022, Louisiana will no longer have a sales tax on child and adult diapers and menstrual products. Thank you to the advocates who helped end the Pink Tax.#LALege #HB7 #Act449 #EndThePinkTax pic.twitter.com/yVsvXbdbvk— Aimee Adatto Freeman (@Aimee4nola) June 24, 2021
During the debate over Freeman's proposed bill, she said that it will mean a lot to women and children in Louisiana. However, Freeman's bill only eradicates the 4.45% sales tax of the state and gives the authorities the option to totally eliminate the taxes.
In previous years, Democrats had tried to advance the bill but they failed. Louisiana will be the second southern state to drop the pink sales tax, next to Florida.