Texas House passes bill that would remove sales tax on menstrual, maternity products

Tess Harmon, General News Reporter

The Texas House of Representatives passed a bill on March 29 that would remove the sales tax on menstrual products and maternity supplies. If signed into law, the bill would go into effect on Sept. 1. 

Filed by state Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, House Bill 300 would exempt reproductive hygiene products, including tampons, sanitary napkins, menstrual cups and menstrual pads from sales tax. In addition, the bill would also exempt maternity supplies, such as maternity clothing and breast pumps, as well as adult diapers and baby products like diapers, baby wipes and baby bottles.

Gov. Greg Abbott is among the proponents of HB 300, which has received bipartisan support from other key politicians, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and members of the Senate Finance Committee, to which the bill was referred for review on March 30.

Emma Wake, the community outreach officer for Students 4 Planned Parenthood, said the bill would result in necessary and increased access to reproductive hygiene care, especially for students. 

Menstrual care products are available in select bathrooms, the Gender and Sexuality Center and various other locations on UT campus.

“Menstrual products are so expensive. … Students are very, very low income people and where we can get help, we need it,” government junior Wake said. “We’re going to have our period no matter what, so it seems only right that we also have the products to take care of that.”

If passed, Texas would become the 24th state to exempt period products from the state’s current sales tax of 6.25%. Some cities and counties impose up to 2% of their own sales tax for a combined sales tax of 8.25%. Howard said the bill is beneficial because it would cater to the needs of Texans of all ages and relieve families of financial burdens.

“It is a bill that is years in the making, and I am proud to champion this effort along with other members of the House,” Howard said in an email. “I look forward to working with my Senate counterparts to get this bill to Gov. Abbott’s desk.”