Alabama Senate committee OKs bill removing taxes from maternal, feminine hygiene products

Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, chair of the Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee, asks a question during a budget presentation in the Alabama Statehouse on Feb. 6. / Alabama Reflector photo by Brian Lyman
Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, chair of the Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee, asks a question during a budget presentation in the Alabama Statehouse on Feb. 6. / Alabama Reflector photo by Brian Lyman


An Alabama Senate committee unanimously approved a bill that would remove state sales and use taxes off certain maternity, baby and menstrual hygiene products.

Senate Bill 62, sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, chair of the Finance and Taxation Education Committee, would remove state taxes from baby formula, baby bottles, baby wipes, breast milk pumping equipment, diapers, maternity clothing and menstrual hygiene products "for personal use."

Orr said the bill seemed to be a "low-cost" way to support families with small children.

"The other aspect on the feminine hygiene products (is) why should half of our population have to be taxed on something that is a necessity and the other half not?" he said.

The Fiscal Division of the Legislative Services Agency estimates the bill would cost the education trust fund $8.7 million and the general fund $2.5 million. The education fund is budgeted to spend $8.8 billion this year. The general fund is expected to spend $3 billion.

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As filed, the bill took out state and local taxes. An amendment from Sen. Garlan Gudger, R-Cullman, altered the bill's treatment of local taxes. Orr said he had heard from local governments they should have the choice to opt in or out.

"I do think as an ex-city councilman, same as a lot of people around this table, or a county commissioner, that we should not meddle in the home rule," Gudger said.

The amendment passed 11-4 over the objections.

The bill moves to the full Senate.

Read more at AlabamaReflector.com.


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