A bill that would exempt purchases of diapers and incontinence products from the state’s 6 percent sales tax is headed to its final committee stop.
Under the legislation, purchases of “diapers, incontinence undergarments, incontinence pads, or incontinence liners” would be exempt from the tax.
On Thursday, Book testified to the committee that the bill would provide “much-needed relief to families caring for our state’s most vulnerable, including infants and the elderly.”
She gave particular focus to the relief it would provide low-income families: “For these families, the cost of diapers can present impossible choices. ‘Should we pay the electric bill or buy diapers?’ “
That aim was echoed by Sen. Dennis Baxley, a member of the committee who voted in favor of the legislation.
“I think targeting some tax relief to an area that affects those most struggling in trying to stay independent and trying to stay self-supporting is a very good target,” Baxley said. “I support the bill and I also think it’s good tax policy.”
Last year’s version of the bill got through one committee in the state Senate before dying.
If approved by the Legislature, the exemption would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
“We’re behind the curve on this one,” Book argued. “There are 15 other states across the country that currently exempt diapers from tax. And I just want to make Florida the 16th.”
The committee also backed a proposal to hold a 10-day holiday period in early August in which sales taxes would be lifted on clothes, school supplies and electronics (SB 576). Lawmakers on the panel also backed a bill to allow investments in rural areas to earn insurance-premium tax credits (SB 298).
Some material from The News Service of Florida is used in this post.