AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar joined State Sen. Joan Huffman on Thursday in announcing his support to repeal state and local sales taxes on menstrual products. While signaling his support, officials added the measure would require new legislation before it could take effect.
“Every woman knows that these products are not optional,” said Huffman, who also serves as chair of the Texas Senate Committee on Finance. “They are essential to our health and well-being and should be tax exempt.”
In his announcement, Hegar encouraged Texas leaders to join the 24 other states that have exempted tampons, pads and other menstrual products from sales tax revenue collections. Beginning Aug. 10, Colorado became the latest state to remove sales taxes on both menstrual products and diapers.
And the measure has grown in its momentum in recent years. State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, has advocated for menstrual products’ sales tax exemptions and introduced a bill in the 2021 legislative session to codify it into law.
“It’s hard to say why it hasn’t gotten over the finish line,” Howard told Capitol Bureau reporter Monica Madden on Aug. 11. “I think it does have to do with the fact that we are predominantly-male still at the legislature.”
Here in Texas, the Comptroller’s office does provide sales tax exemptions for medical products such as drugs and medicines, as well as wound dressings like bandages and dietary supplements.
Estimates from the Comptroller’s office report sales taxes on menstrual products would generate approximately $28.6 million annually during the next biennium, or Texas’ two-year legislative and budgetary period. Figures released by Hegar’s office projected an ending balance for the 2022-23 biennium of $27 billion.
“Taxing these products is archaic, and it is time for Texas to join the 24 states that already exempt tampons and other feminine hygiene products from sales tax,” Hegar said in the release, later adding: “Texas can absorb this lost revenue easily, but for countless Texas women, this will mean significant savings in their personal budgets over time.”