Colorado has now joined the long list of states which no longer tax feminine hygiene products in an effort to save women money and combat the “stigma” of hygiene products in general.
In June, Governor Jared Polis signed HB 1055 which not only eliminated the tax on all feminine hygiene products and adult and child diapers but that also expedited the date that the exemption would go into effect. The original bill called for the state sales tax exemption to begin some time in 2023, but the new version begins the exemption on August 10, 2022.
“From now on in Colorado, there will no longer be state sales tax on diapers and feminine hygiene products,” Gov. Polis said in a press release. “This new bipartisan law finally ends the sales tax on diapers and feminine hygiene products permanently and starts saving people money on these necessary products.”
The bill covers the state sales tax on products including tampons, feminine napkins, liners, menstrual cups, sponges, and diapers for infants and incontinence products for adults. The Gazette claims that the average Colorado woman spends approximately $180 per year on menstrual products, while diapers often run about $75 per month per child.
“Too many Coloradans and their families are going without necessary hygiene products, and this law eliminates the state sales tax on these essential products, making them more affordable,” said bill co-sponsor Democratic Rep. Leslie Herod. “Eliminating the sales and use tax on period products, diapers, and incontinence products makes these essential products more accessible and saves Coloradans money when they need it the most.
“Our law also paves the way towards destigmatizing hygiene products that millions of people rely on every day,” she added.
According to the Denver Post, women and families had been using makeshift products such as grocery bags and toilet paper to avoid having to purchase more feminine items and diapers, a manifestation of what some have dubbed “period poverty.”
“This is actually one of the bills that’s been most requested by my constituents,” said Sen. Faith Winter of Westminster. “Especially young women across my district are seeing this as an equity piece and as a really important way to reduce stigma.”
The bill is expected to save Coloradans $9.1 million a year and deny the state about $4.3 million in tax revenue.
The Colorado bill does not preclude municipal taxes on feminine and incontinence products, although the cities of Denver and Aurora have already eliminated those taxes.