Diapers, Formula And Tampons Sold In Arizona Could Be Tax Exempt

Sales-tax exemptions are possibly on the horizon for diapers, baby formula, tampons and other feminine-hygiene products with help from two Arizona lawmakers.

State Reps. T.J. Shope. R-Coolidge and Daniel Hernandez Jr., D- Tucson are sponsoring House Bill 2153 in the legislative session that began Monday.

In the past two years, Hernandez had proposed similar bills that haven’t made their way through the house. He is thankful Shope signed on as primary sponsor this time around.

“It seemed reasonable enough,” said Shope, the Speaker Pro Tempore. “It is kind of a regressive tax in my opinion on folks that at least needs to be looked at.”

In addition to excluding the products from sales taxes, the law would also guarantee that all municipalities treat baby formulas as a food product exempt from sales taxes.

“If you look at demographics and such, it does appear that people that are a little bit lower on the socioeconomic level often have more children than others,” Shope said. “I think it’s a good deal. 

Hernandez believes it is unfair to tax such items, which could lead to some people leaving children in dirty diapers longer than they would if the items were more affordable. 

“While it’s not a huge thing for a lot of people in two-wage households … if you are living on minimum wage and if you are a shift worker, working part time, it can become very expensive very quickly,” Hernandez said.

Shoppers pay $3.43 in combined state and city sales tax on a package of 136 Pampers brand diapers in Phoenix, where the combined tax rate is 8.6 percent.