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Good News For Parents: Legislature Wants To Exempt Diapers From Sales Tax

Florida parents could see cheaper diapers through legislation being considered by lawmakers. The measure by Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, exempts diapers and incontinence products from sales tax.Torrie Jasuwan, founder of BabyCycle Diaper Bank in Saint Petersburg, said one in three Florida moms can’t afford diapers. She says not having clean diapers can result in staph and urinary tract infections.

“It would also help these moms to go back to work because without diapers, babies can’t go to daycare. And daycare requires five diapers per day and if mom can’t afford them, mom can’t go back to work. So it’s really imperative that this bill passes." 

Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, presented the bill in committee Tuesday because Book recently gave birth to twins.

“Obviously, babies need clean, fresh diapers in order to be healthy," she said. "Children in low income families are at the greatest risk of suffering the effects of diaper need because many families can’t afford diapers.”

The original measure also exempted baby wipes. Passidomo said removing wipes from the legislation reduces the $52 million fiscal impact by about $11 million.

Currently 11 states exempt diapers from sales tax. If signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott, it would take effect next year.

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Sarah Mueller is the first recipient of the WFSU Media Capitol Reporting Fellowship. She’ll be covering the 2017 Florida legislative session and recently earned her master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting at the University of Illinois Springfield. Sarah was part of the Illinois Statehouse press corps as an intern for NPR Illinois in 2016. When not working, she enjoys playing her yellow lab, watching documentaries and reading memoirs.