NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Starting Friday, some shoppers will get a tax break, especially if those shoppers are women.
Last year, Governor John Bel Edwards signed House Bill 7 into law and now, the sales tax exemption on feminine hygiene products and diapers, for babies and adults, will finally go into effect.
District 98 State Representative Aimee Adatto Freeman (D-New Orleans) authored the bill. She says, unlike many other essential health products that are available tax-free, items like diapers and tampons were not exempt from the state’s 4.45% sales tax.
“We need menstrual products, and it’s not something we can choose,” said Freeman. “You need them every month, and if you’re raising children, or if you’re taking care of an elderly relative or a special needs child, you need those diapers every month.”
Some women say it’s the perfect time for this tax exemption to become a law.
“Well, it’s certainly been a long time coming, and it’s really wonderful, especially at a time right now where everybody’s watching their dollars, and inflation is a part of everyone’s family budget,” said shopper Julia Bland.
According to Freeman, taxes on these items unfairly burdened women and families living in poverty who may be forced to choose one item over the other.
“For me, it was a fight for everybody across the state,” said Freeman. “There are so many families who live on small-budget margins where having a little bit less tax to pay on their monthly bill will actually put money into their pockets, and so that matters a lot to me that it’s statewide.”
Although many women will benefit from the tax exemption, other shoppers will get a break as well.
“Right, absolutely, I mean, sort of from the beginning to the end, there are needs that we have, and it makes an awful lot of sense, a real consideration,” said Bland.
Coinciding with the law taking effect, Representative Freeman will be partnering with Junior League of New Orleans to collect feminine hygiene products and diapers.
If you’d like to drop off a donation, you can drop off items at the headquarters, located at 4319 Carondelet Street, during business hours, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
If you’d like to find out how you can benefit from the drive, contact the Junior League of New Orleans.