For immediate release:
Jan. 28, 2016
INDIANAPOLIS — State Rep. Christina Hale (D-Indianapolis) presented bold new legislation to lawmakers today, urging them to stop taxing products that are necessary for day-to-day life.
Unfortunately, Indiana House Republicans did not agree, rejecting amendments that would remove the state gross retail taxes that are applied to baby diapers and feminine hygiene items. The taxes have received attention in recent years, with advocates denouncing some states’ classification of the products as luxury items.
“We give a tax break to people buying chili cheese-flavored Fritos or airplanes but we can’t offer that same break to families buying diapers and feminine hygiene products? That’s just not right,” commented Hale.
The removal of the tax would provide significant relief to women living in poverty, who often struggle to afford this basic necessity. In some states, women pay as much as 10 percent in taxes on these items.
“One in six women and girls in Indiana live in poverty,” said Hale. “Removing this tax would immediately relieve a burden on women and girls in Indiana who face the financial costs of purchasing these products.
“These taxes were clearly not created with women in mind,” remarked Hale. “This is about doing the right thing. Women should not be taxed for a normal bodily function that they cannot control or ignore. There is nothing ‘luxurious’ about that.”
The removal of taxes on diapers would also provide immense relief for families.
“Diapers are a huge, necessary expense,” said Hale. “This is an urgent matter of providing families and people with a tax break for critically important items that they need on the most basic human level.”
Hale’s proposed amendments would have been attached to House Bill 1046, a measure exempting people buying gold bars and bullion from paying sales tax.
Hale intends to continue to pursue this legislation in future sessions.
“These taxes were imposed without the input of the groups they hurt,” said Hale. “It is beyond time we make a change and provide practical help to Hoosiers.”