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Texas bill to eliminate sales tax on diapers filed by Austin state representative

AUSTIN (KXAN) — New legislation tabled ahead of the 88th Texas Legislative Session could result in a statewide elimination of sales taxes on diaper products.

Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, introduced House Bill 199 on November 14, calling for a sales tax exemption for infant and adult diapers. If enacted, the exemption would be a change in state tax legislation.

Currently, the Texas tax law provides exemptions for various medical products, including drugs and non-insulin drugs, braces, hearing aids and braille pens, or electronic devices for the blind or visually impaired. If the Texas Legislature passes the law, the sales tax exemption would take effect on September 1, 2023.

This isn’t Howard’s only bill focused on sales tax exemptions for medical products. Howard also introduced a bill calling for the repeal of sales taxes on menstrual products; It’s one she’s submitted in every session since 2017.

Similar to the increasing momentum in states phasing out sales taxes on menstrual products, calls for tax exemptions on diapers have grown in recent years. This year alone, six states — Maryland, Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Virginia, and Indiana — introduced temporary or permanent sales tax exemptions for diapers.

A total of 16 states have some form of temporary or permanent sales tax exemption for diapers that are designated as exempt because they are a healthcare, clothing and/or personal care product. Five states — Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon — do not have a state sales tax that might be levied on the products.

Texas is one of 11 states that have sales tax holidays when diapers are exempt. It joins Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin in this once in a lifetime liberation vacation. North Dakota differs from the rest as the only state that offers exemptions specifically for adult incontinence products only.

In Texas, sales tax on diaper products has a base rate of 6.25% and can be increased up to 8.25%, according to the National Diaper Bank Network. Online parenting resource, BabyCenter, estimates that the average parent or guardian spends between $70 and $80 on disposable diapers each month.

Overall, infants need around 12 nappies a day and toddlers around 8 nappies, with an annual need of between 2,500 and 3,000 nappies per child.

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