AUSTIN (KXAN) – An Austin non-profit on Tuesday welcomed a change in Texas law removing a sales tax on diapers, wipes, period supplies and other health-related items.
The Austin Diaper Bank said ending the sales tax on diapers will save Texas families an average of $87 each year, enough to purchase a month’s supply of diapers or pay for other basic needs.
Senate Bill 379 goes into effect on Friday.
“The end of the sales tax on diapers and other health items is a tremendous win for every Texas family,” said Austin Diaper Bank Executive Director Holly McDaniel. “Families who are struggling to afford diapers and other necessities each month will see relief every time they go to the store. This law is a major step toward a healthier Texas.”
When families run short on diapers, McDaniel said, they report using T-shirts and towels as a substitute, while others rinse out and reuse dirty diapers or keep their child in soiled diapers for longer periods of time to save money. She said these practices lead to health problems for both the child and the caregiver.
Likewise, lack of period supplies, often due to cost, can lead to health issues and force individuals to miss school or work, McDaniel said. An estimated 1 in 4 individuals have struggled to purchase period supplies in the past year due to lack of income, while 1 in 5 students miss school each month due to a lack of period supplies.
McDaniel said in June the bill represents seven years of effort by Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, and advocates.
The Austin Diaper Bank said Texas will be the 18th state not to levy a sales tax on diapers citing the National Diaper Bank Network.