Sen. Lauren Book, a Plantation Democrat, is reviving her effort to eliminate sales tax on diapers and adult incontinence products.
The project has been a priority for Book for years, but she hasn’t yet secured enough support from her GOP counterparts controlling the Legislature. Book — who chairs the Senate Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs — is bringing back the same bill once again (SB 806) ahead of the 2021 Legislative Session.
The measure simply adds those products to the long list of other items exempt from the state’s sales tax, such as non-prepared food, school books, feminine hygiene products, and others.
“The sale for human use of diapers, incontinence undergarments, incontinence pads, or incontinence liners is exempt from the tax imposed by this chapter,” Book’s bill reads.
More than a dozen other states have already made diapers sales-tax free.
“It’s time to stop taxing Florida families for these essential health care items,” Book added in a Tuesday statement promoting the legislation.
“Caring for young children and adults with incontinence issues comes with overwhelming costs. For the health, safety, and dignity of families, Florida should join other states across the country and stop taxing these necessary healthcare items.”
Babies use more than 2,700 diapers per year, according to numbers from Investopedia. Disposable diapers can cost new parents $70 or $80 per month. According to research Book cited, around one in three families in the U.S. say they struggle to purchase a sufficient number of diapers.
Book’s bill wouldn’t knock out the whole cost, but would cut down on taxes stemming from those purchases. That could be upwards of $50 saved per year per baby.
Last year, Book’s measure moved through one committee before dying in the Finance and Tax Committee. So far, no one has filed a companion bill in the House. Former Democratic Rep. Amy Mercado joined Book on the measure the past few years. She’s now serving as the Orange County Property Appraiser.
Book’s legislation would take effect on Jan. 1, 2022, if approved.