North Texas Daily

New Texas law eliminates sales taxation on healthcare products

New Texas law eliminates sales taxation on healthcare products

New Texas law eliminates sales taxation on healthcare products
September 15
12:00 2023

On Sept. 1, tax exemptions for baby, menstrual and other healthcare products went into effect, making Texas the 24th state in the country to repeal the tampon tax.

Gov. Greg Abbott signed off on Senate Bill 379 in June 2023. State Sen. Joan Huffman, the sponsor the law, said feminine hygiene products “are essential to our health and well-being and should be tax-exempt,” according to a news release from her office in January.

“[Menstrual cycles are] a natural process, so it should just be free.” business freshman Lanea Ward said, “It’s a step forward, though.”

Sydney Hulen, a leader at the Chi Alpha Christian fellowship, questioned the need to charge for necessary healthcare products.

“If we’re not going to put taxes on fresh produce, so why would we put [a] sales tax on things that are also necessary for people?” the 23-year-old said.

Although the products aren’t free, Texas has the ability to withstand the revenue loss for Texans’ necessary products. In the course of the next biennium, sales taxes on feminine hygiene products would make $28.6 million annually, according to the Comptroller’s office. Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar worked with Huffman and said, over time, there will be “significant savings in their personal budgets.”

Laura Beck, the Off-Campus Student Services coordinator and a doctorate student, said she feels as if the passing of SB 379 was long overdue.

“I get excited when stuff like [the tampon tax exemption] is passed, and I also think especially in the state of Texas where now you no longer have a choice,” Beck said. “The least our government can do is help ease some of the financial burden. I do think that it’s a step in the right direction, and I think that it is way overdue.”

Following the landmark Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade and gave states the option to outlaw abortion, Texas outlawed abortion in July last year. Despite the repealing of the tampon tax having support from the Democratic Party for the last couple of years, the bill recently gained bipartisan support, with the House passing the bill with a vote of 129-14.

“When it comes to things like diapers, baby formula, wipes, bottles, or anything like that, every cent counts.” Beck said, “Especially if you’re kind of living on the edge with your budget, every cent counts when it comes down to it.”

In the latest Texas Legislative session, legislators also passed bills concerning to new parents in the structure of protection for pregnant and parenting college students in Senate Bill 412 and eight weeks of parental pay for state employees in Senate Bill 222.

Roughly one in five college students attend school while raising children, according to a 2021 report from the Institute of Women’s Policy Research.

Featured Image:  Tampons and other menstrual products sit on the shelves at a CVS on W. Hickory Street on Sept. 5, 2023. Brendan McDonald

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Marissa Garcia

Marissa Garcia

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