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Soon-to-be new mom Lauren Book wants diapers exempt from sales tax

New state Sen. Lauren Book, who’s eight months pregnant with twins, also has filed legislation to exempt diapers and baby wipes from the state’s 6 percent sales tax.

Book

Book, a Broward County Democrat, filed her bill (SB 252) Thursday. A similar provision was filed last month by House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz of Tampa.

The 32-year-old lawmaker, elected in November, said the idea came to her as she attended pregnancy classes. Book is having a boy and a girl, due in February.

“For many families, buying diapers can be a (financial) burden,” she said in a phone interview. “It’s not a luxury item.”

The average child “will use more than 2,700 diapers in the first year alone, which can add up to more than $550 (based on an average price of $0.20 per disposable diaper),” according to Investopedia. “And don’t forget an average of $20 per month for wipes.”

Based on that, Book’s bill could save a family about $48 a year.

Another example: A 128-count box of newborn-size Pampers Swaddlers Diapers costs roughly $35 at Wal-mart. A tax exemption would save about $2 per box.

And the language would extend the exemption to adult products, such as Depends.

The legislation defines diapers as “a product used to absorb or contain body waste, including, but not limited to, baby diapers and adult diapers and pads designed and used for incontinence.”

Baby wipes, as defined by the bill, are “a moistened, disposable, often antiseptic tissue used chiefly for cleansing the skin, especially of babies and children.”

Bills also have been filed for the 2017 Legislative Session to create sales-tax exemptions on feminine hygiene products such as tampons.

Written By

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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