(The Center Square) - A Colorado committee passed a bill that would exempt diapers and feminine hygiene products from the state's sales and use tax.
House Bill 22-1055 passed the House Finance Committee by an 8-3 vote with Reps. Adrienne Benavidez, D-Denver, Stephanie Luck, R-Penrose, and Shane Sandridge, R-Colorado Springs voting against it.
"We're working hard to save Coloradans money on hygiene products, including diapers and period products because they are essential everyday items for many families," said Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver, one of the bill's sponsors. "This bill showcases our efforts to remove the tax on dignity by ending the state sales tax on essential hygiene products, increasing their affordability for every Coloradan who uses them."
During the hearing Monday, Rep. Benavidez expressed concerns about how the bill would impact funding for special districts.
According to the bill's fiscal note, it would eliminate more than $4.3 million from the general fund in fiscal year 2022-2023 and another $9.1 million the next year.
A study published in BMC Women's Health, a peer-reviewed medical journal, found that access to basic hygiene products can dramatically improve a woman's mental health, especially among college-aged students.
"Eliminating the tax on these essential items not only makes these products more affordable but also helps to destigmatize period products so people in Colorado can feel confident in their bodies," said Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver.