State lawmakers introduced a bill on Monday that would expand the sales tax exemption to include feminine hygiene products and disposable or reusable diapers.
Representative Matt Ritter (D-1) said the incentive isn’t about revenue, rather, equity and public health.
“Here you have a product that is being taxed on only women in our state,” said Ritter.
He and his colleagues argue that an uncontrollable biological function should not fall under the same category as other goods and services, especially since products like antique coins and shoe repair services are exempt from taxes.
“When I hear that there are children that stay in the same spoiled diapers for a good part of the day because mothers can’t afford to make that kind of difference, it’s something we need to address,” Representative Noreen Kokoruda (R-101) said.
The proposed bill would cut the cost of such items by 6 percent. That adds up to $7.2 million the state would lose in taxes every year.
This comes at a time when lawmakers look to cut spending — not revenue — to help close the state’s $266 million budget gap.
“We [understand] we have revenue problems,” Ritter said. “We’re not trying to be distracted from that, but there is a public health component and as the Public Health Committee, we try to pass legislation that we think is good public health for the state of Connecticut.”
Connecticut isn’t the only state pushing to end such taxes. Some New York lawmakers, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, also want to repeal its tax on feminine hygiene products.