Public Health Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-216

Title:

AN ACT EXPANDING THE SALES TAX EXEMPTION TO INCLUDE FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS AND DISPOSABLE OR REUSABLE DIAPERS.

Vote Date:

3/16/2016

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Change of Reference to Finance, Revenue and Bonding

PH Date:

3/7/2016

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Public Health Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

The bill will exempt diapers, as well as, feminine hygiene products from the State of Connecticut's sales tax.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Permanent Commission on the Status of Women: Urges support of this bill. This bill will add feminine hygiene products and diapers to the list of products and services that are exempt from the sales tax. The exemption from the sales tax can aid in alleviating the fiscal burden imposed by these products on families that live below the poverty line.

Representative Kelly JS Luxenberg: Urges support of the legislation because feminine hygiene products and diapers for infants, are essential and basic necessities of life. Connecticut is one of three states that distinguishes the difference between infant diapers and adult diapers for taxation purposes. Connecticut should consider exempting these products from the state's tax and say “no to gender-biased taxation”.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Janet Stolfi Alfano, Executive Director, Diaper Bank: Diapers and feminine hygiene products are a necessity. Families living in poverty often try to “stretch” the use of the product, which should not be used longer than suggested due to the risks associated with extended use.

Alison Weir, Director of Policy, Research and Analysis, National Diaper Bank Network: According to the Institute of Tax and Economic Policy, the poorest 20% of Connecticut's population spends approximately 14% of their after tax income on purchasing diapers for infants. Exempting products such as diapers and feminine hygiene products can benefit society and the individuals who use them.

Nancy S. Lundy: Urges the passage of the legislation, because it can positively affect some of the most vulnerable individuals within Connecticut's population. In low- income families it is not uncommon to find infants and young children who have spent the day in one or two diapers.

Sophie Miller: Feminine hygiene products and diapers are products that are essential to a woman and child's life. The tax exemption on these products would decrease the fiscal burden of these products for women.

Leah Grenier: The proposed legislation addresses one of the barriers that attributes to gender inequality within the state.

Leslie Weinberg: Taxes can be a significant expense to individuals that are experiencing financial issues.

Madeline Granato, MSW Intern, Permanent Commission on the Status of Women: Feminine hygiene products are non- luxury items that should be included within the list of tax exempt products.

Izzi Greenberg, Middlesex Coalition for Children: This legislation could have a profound effect on the lives of women and children throughout the state. Federal subsidies like WIC and SNAP do not have any subsidies for diapers or feminine products, even though they are essential products for women and children.

Donna Haghighat: While the sales tax exemption on feminine hygiene products and diapers can negatively impact the state's financial revenue, many families below the poverty line do not have the necessary funds to continuously provide the required number of diapers for their children each day. This causes revenue loss for the parents who have to stay home with their children due to economic instability.

Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition: Supports the bill, as diapers and feminine hygiene products are essentially non-luxury items.

Gretchen Raffa, MSW, Director, Public Policy, Advocacy & Strategic Engagement, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England: The tax on diapers and feminine hygiene products disproportionately affect women. By making these products tax exempt women, especially those under the federal poverty line, financial burden will be will decreased even if it is slightly.

Susan R Cavanna: Urges legislators to support the bill, as they are necessities for women and children.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None.

Reported by: Najja Salmon

Date: 3/23/16