TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — In 2022 the Florida appropriations budget made buying diapers and common items for child care, but did not include feminine hygiene or incontinence products. Now, state lawmakers are pushing to expand that tax relief to permanency, as well as include the excluded items.
The version of the diaper tax relief bill proposed by Sen. Lauren Book (D-Davie) which did include other items died in committee, but the provision for the diapers themselves was included in part in the final budget for 2023. It made diapers tax-free until June 2023.
For March’s legislative session, Book introduced the legislation again, pushing to expand what items will be exempt from sales taxes in Florida, and without limiting it to a single year. Based on commentary from Gov. Ron DeSantis at various events before, during, and after the 2022 election season, making the diaper tax exemption permanent is a bipartisan priority.
Book announced her legislative proposal on Jan. 4, saying that while the diaper tax removal had passed, state lawmakers could do more to help families.
“After years of fighting, we were successful in achieving one of my longstanding priorities: the elimination of sales tax on diapers for working families across the state,” Book said in a statement. The announcement on the Florida Senate site described her as a child advocate and mother of twins. She’s sponsored similar legislation since being elected in 2016. “While we are truly helping families with young children across the state, the powers that be limited us last Session in only providing this relief for infant diapers, for one year.”
Orlando Democrat Anna Eskamani’s identical bill, HB 29, was introduced in the House Ways & Means Committee on Dec. 23, 2022.
“Now, Rep. Eskamani and are continuing to fight for a permanent exemption on all diapers — including adult incontinence products,” Book’s statement continued. “Because working families shouldn’t be taxed on essential health care items.”
If the legislation, Senate Bill 114, passes, it would make Florida the 22nd state to remove sales taxes on diapers. In similar fashion, Book said Florida had “already eliminated sales tax for baby food and infant formula, and other essential items for babies, as well as tampons and feminine hygiene products.”
SB 114 would also remove sales tax on “incontinence undergarments, incontinence pads, and incontinence liners.” Should the legislation be enacted, it would take effect on Jan. 1, 2024.