AUSTIN (KXAN) — New legislation filed in advance of the 88th Texas Legislative Session could lead to the removal of sales taxes on diaper products statewide.
State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, filed House Bill 199 on Nov. 14, which calls for a sales tax exemption for both child and adult diapers. If passed, the exemption would be an amendment to the state tax code.
Currently, Texas’ tax code offers exemptions for several medical-related products, including drugs and medicine outside of insulin, braces, hearing aids, and braille writers or electronic equipment for people who are blind or visually impaired. If the Texas Legislative passes the bill, the sales tax exemption would take effect on Sept. 1, 2023.
This isn’t Howard’s only bill filed that’s centered on sales tax exemptions for medical products. Howard also filed a bill that calls for the repeal of sales taxes on menstrual products; it’s one she’s filed each session since 2017.
Similar to rising momentum in states removing sales taxes from menstrual products, calls for diaper tax exemptions have grown in recent years. This year alone, six states — Maryland, Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Virginia and Indiana — have implemented temporary or full-time exemptions on diaper sales taxes.
In total, 16 states have some form of temporary or permanent sales tax exemptions for diapers, denoted as exempt because it is a healthcare item, clothing, and/or a hygiene product. Five states — Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon — don't have a state sales tax that could be applied to the products.
Texas is one of 11 states that hosts sales tax holidays when diapers are exempt. It joins Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Wisconsin in those one-off exemption holidays. North Dakota varies from the rest as the only state that offers exemptions specifically for adult incontinence products only.
In Texas, sales tax on diaper products has a base rate of 6.25% and can extend up to 8.25%, according to the National Diaper Bank Network. Online parental resource BabyCenter estimated the average parent or guardian spends between $70-$80 each month on disposable diapers.
Cumulatively, infants average about 12 diapers a day and toddlers about eight, with a yearly need of between 2,500 and 3,000 diapers per child.