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Utah lawmakers, all male, kill 'tampon tax' bill

Lawmakers, all male, kill 'tampon tax' bill (Photo: Daniel Kovach / KUTV)
Lawmakers, all male, kill 'tampon tax' bill (Photo: Daniel Kovach / KUTV)
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(KUTV) The so-called "Tampon Tax" bill died after a short discussion in a legislative committee Wednesday night. The all-male committee voted 8-3 to nix it.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Susan Duckworth, felt from the start that fighting the misconception that it was a bill about only feminine hygiene products, would be the biggest hurdle.

"It can affect men, women and children in our state," she said.

Officially called the Hygiene Tax Act, House Bill 202 was about exempting various hygiene products include those for women, children's diapers, and adult diapers, from sales tax. Duckworth said these are essential products that like food, shouldn't be taxed.

Just like some medical products aren't taxed, she felt hygiene products should be treated the same way.

Duckworth said although women do use more of the products, purchasing for them and their children, the tax savings would be a big benefit to families who are taxed about $50 a year on diapers and feminine products and about $80 on incontinence products - often used by seniors or cancer patients.

Duckworth said any money losses in tax revenue for the state would be "a wash" because families would take the tax savings and use them to buy other essential items.

The House Revenue and Taxation Committee moved the discussion on the bill to the bottom of the agenda. Duckworth waited over two hours to finally pitch her proposal before a mostly skeptical committee.

Rep. Brian King, who was one of three yes votes, said he felt the tax was unfair to women who bear most of the burden of buying hygiene products.

Rep. Ken Ivory, who voted no, said while his family could benefit from the tax because he has an elderly parent and three daughters, he thought exempting some items from sales tax could open the door to other and unlimited requests for tax exemptions.

Ten other states have exempted hygiene products from sales tax.

Duckworth was upset her bill failed but promised if she's re-elected, she'll push it again.

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Follow Cristina Flores on Twitter @Cristina2News for breaking news, updates and more.

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