Lauren Book’s multiyear effort pays off: Baby diapers will be tax-free as of July 1
Help for buying Huggies? New mom and state Sen. Lauren Book held a press conference Monday in Fort Lauderdale. Her bill (SB 56) would make diapers and adult incontinence products exempt from state and local sales tax.

lauren book
The exemption will last for a year, but the Senate Democratic Leader vowed to continue the fight for a permanent sales tax exemption.

Parents soon won’t have to pay sales tax to keep their babies fresh and clean, as Gov. Ron DeSantis’ stroke of a pen Friday delivered tax relief on baby diapers and a host of other items.

The sweeping tax relief package DeSantis signed Friday will save Floridians an estimated $1.1 billion in taxes.

Baby diapers will be exempted from the sales tax starting July 1. The move produced a cheer from Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book. The one-year reprieve from sales taxes for disposable and reusable baby diapers came five years after Book started fighting for it.

The mission started when Book’s own kids, 5-year-old girl-boy twins, Kennedy and Hudson, were in diapers, she said.

“I’ve been fighting to provide families relief since my own kids were in diapers, because parents should not bear a tax burden on essential items to keep their children safe and comfortable,” Book said in a statement. “When one in three Florida families struggle to pay for diapers — especially in the midst of the ongoing affordability crisis — this is the kind of legislation that makes a difference in people’s daily lives.”

DeSantis said he signed the bill to combat inflation, but Book said the fight for permanent tax-free diapering will go on.

“I will continue to advocate for a permanent exemption on all diapers, including adult incontinence products, next Session, to ensure our seniors are covered, too,” Book said.

Babies use more than 2,700 diapers per year, according to numbers from Investopedia. Disposable diapers can cost new parents nearly $120 per month for diapers and wipes.

Other items for newborns are already tax-free, including baby food, formulas and teething lotion.

The Governor has expressed sympathy with the problem. His youngest child, a daughter, still has a lot of diapers left to go, he said.

The tax relief measure signed Friday also includes a one-year sales tax suspension on children’s books along with baby and toddler clothing.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


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