Tax relief for women advances

Published: June 2, 2021
By: Ryan Nelsen | LSU Manship School News Service

Three bills that focus on tax relief for women moved through a state Senate committee Wednesday.

The Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee advanced the bills, which had already been approved by the House. The bills now head to the Senate floor.

House Bill 7, sponsored by New Orleans Democratic Rep. Aimee Freeman, would end state sales tax on feminine hygiene products and diapers for adults and children. Freeman has labeled the bill as “ending the pink tax,” as the financial burden of buying these products disproportionately affects women.

LIFT Louisiana, a women’s advocacy group, supported the bill, noting that Louisiana leads the nation in single-family households led by women. The group called the taxation of these products “an unnecessary and immoral financial burden.”

The bill is now in its fifth year in the legislature. It was originally carried by former Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans. The bill has support from groups on both sides of the aisle, including the Feminist Majority of Louisiana and Louisiana Right to Life.

“I believe this is part of healthcare for women and children, especially for those who live on a very tight budget,” said Freeman.

A concern voiced by state Sen. Eddie Lambert, R-Gonzales, was that the bill would cost the state $10.5 million in tax revenue.

Freeman responded: “To me, $10.5 million, which is only .01% of the entire budget, is a worthwhile exemption for the women and children of Louisiana.”

The state sales tax is currently 4.45%, but local parishes and cities add their own sales taxes on top of that. The committee amended the bill to give municipalities the option of enacting the exemption.

Read more at The Advocate

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