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House panel OKs sales tax cut for diapers, formula, tampons

Posted at 12:44 PM, Feb 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-16 20:06:28-05

PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona House panel has signed off on a proposal exempting diapers, baby formula and feminine hygiene products like tampons from state sales taxes.

Democratic Rep. Daniel Hernandez of Tucson is pushing the proposal as a way to give a tax break to poor and low-income families.
"What I am trying to do is try to give people a leg up and opportunity to be able to stay in the work force because what happens when people cant afford diapers, they can't go to work because you can't leave your child at daycare if you don't leave diapers that are enough for a full day supply," said Hernandez.
The tax cut is expected to result in nearly $8 million in sales tax losses.
Advocates for low-income women testified that any cost reduction for basic child care needs helps struggling families.
Hernandez says on average per year, people spend $1,000 on baby formula, $150 on feminine hygiene products, and $960 on diapers per child. 
Members of the House Ways and Means Committee approved House Bill 2418 on a 6-3 vote Wednesday. Three Republicans joined all three Democrats on the panel in support. Three Republicans voiced concern about the cost and voted no on the measure.
It now goes to the full House for consideration.