Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Eliminates State's 'Tampon Tax': 'The Right Thing to Do'

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signing the "tampon tax" repeal
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signing the "tampon tax" repeal
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Gretchen Whitmer/Twitter

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill Thursday to repeal the state's "tampon tax," calling it a bipartisan move to help "every menstruating Michigander."

"After years of trying to repeal this tax, I am proud that we are bringing people together to put Michiganders first and drive down costs on these essential products," Whitmer said in a statement. "Everyone should be able to take care of their most basic healthcare needs without an unnecessary added financial burden."

The bill makes feminine hygiene products — including tampons, panty liners, menstrual cups, sanitary napkins and other similar items — exempt from the state's six percent sales and use taxes.

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"By repealing the tax on menstrual products, we are saving families from paying taxes on up to $4,800 in spending over the course of a lifetime," Whitmer said.

Twenty other states have removed similar taxes, the governor also said.

According to a press release about the bill, an average menstruating Michigander has "456 periods and uses 17,000 tampons or pads" over the course of her lifetime.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signing the "tampon tax" repeal
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signing the "tampon tax" repeal

Gretchen Whitmer/Twitter

"I'm proud that we're putting Michiganders first and cutting costs while building on our track record of coming together to get the job done for families across our state," Whitment added. "So repealing this unfair, one-sided tax is the right thing to do."

Internationally, a growing list of countries have abolished the "tampon tax" on menstrual products.

As of Jan. 1, the U.K. is no longer required to have a 5% rate of value-added tax (VAT) on women's sanitary products, according to a press release from the U.K. government.

The announcement comes as part of a wider government initiative to end period poverty, which includes providing free sanitary products in schools, colleges and hospitals.

In November 2020, Scotland became the first country to provide free, universal access to period products after lawmakers passed a landmark bill in Parliament.