Louisiana voters could decide if consumers need a diaper and tampon tax break

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Louisiana voters could soon decide whether to exempt diapers and feminine hygiene products from the state’s sales tax. 

The plan cleared a major hurdle Monday at the capitol.

News Ten’s Harrison Golden tells us what’s next.

The bill’s sponsor, Senator JP Morrell from New Orleans, premises his legislation this way.

Louisiana already exempts prescription drugs from the state’s 4-point-45 percent sales tax… so why not add some wellness items to the list?

“If we think Viagra should be tax exempt, how can we say diapers and tampons shouldn’t be?”

Six of the nine senate finance committee members present monday agreed to bring Morrell’s question there to a statewide vote.

If voters agree to exempt diapers, tampons, menstrual pads, cups, napkins and pantiliners… the legislative fiscal office estimates that some ten million dollars will stay in customer pockets.

Supporters say exempting diapers alone would ease financial burdens that for parents have too often snowballed.

“If you cannot provide disposable diapers to the daycare, then your child can’t go to daycare, and you can’t go to work. On average, those experiencing diaper need miss three to four days a month because they can’t provide diapers. It becomes a very vicious socio-economic cycle.”

“It is an essential item. You cannot operate in society without feminine hygiene products.”

Opponents argue this would further perplex an already labyrinthine sales tax system and that the state could certainly use that ten million dollars in its coffers.

“From a tax policy standpoint, I think we’re making things more complicated by adding more and more exemptions”/”Yeah, I guess one could make homemade tampons, I don’t think that would go very well.”

Similar bills have failed to secure the needed legislative backing. whether the idea… this time around… has enough support to win two-thirds majorities in the senate, then the house, remains unclear.

Though the fact that Louisiana is running on a surplus for the first time in a decade could sway the critics into changing their minds. 

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