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Lawmaker wants to rid state and local taxes on feminine hygiene products

Updated: Mar. 21, 2021 at 11:54 PM CDT
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BATON, ROUGE, La (WAFB)- If you live in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, or Shreveport you’re exempt from paying local sales and use taxes on feminine hygiene products. But there’s a push to end those taxes throughout all Louisiana.

Louisiana considers water, food, and medicine to be essential products, which is why you don’t pay taxes on those products.

But what about things like tampons and diapers? One lawmaker is fighting to get those items added to the list.

“Well, the women of our state deserve to be treated fairly when it comes to how we pay sales tax and this to me is a fairness issue, its products that we have to buy”, said Louisiana Representative Aimee Freeman.

The bill is gaining support, but one Baton Rouge resident thinks the bill could be expanded by adding some male hygiene products as well.

“I don’t see why not, for the younger boys who are still home with their mothers. If she can’t afford their own products and she has to help them with theirs”, said Baton Rouge resident Carmel Taylor.

But this isn’t the first-time lawmakers will consider what some like to call, the “pink tax”.

“It’s been filed in the past by my friend former senator J.P. Morrell in 2017 and 2019”, said Freeman.

“Don’t sit up here and talk to us about how important babies are to the state, how important it is to protect the rights for people to have babies and then say when it’s our time to make sure they can afford diapers it’s too much... the level of hypocrisy is staggering”, said Morrell in a statement on the capitol floor back in 2019.

The bill has never made it close to the governor’s desk because some question if the state can make up for money lost through that tax exemption. Right now, the answer to that question is still up in the air.

“You know frankly I don’t have the fiscal numbers but hopefully I will soon once my bill is actually being heard because that’s an important part of discussion but at the end of the day to me this is about fairness to the women and children of our state” Freeman explained.

The final details will be laid out and discussed once session begins on April 12th.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.