This update provided by Northwest Missouri State University senior Molly Gardner, who is a legislative intern in Jefferson City, Mo., during the Spring 2019 term.
The Missouri Legislature has proposed a few bills throughout the years that would eliminate the sales tax for feminine hygiene products (tampons, pads and cups). For the past few years Missouri has been trying to get rid of the tampon tax. Feminine hygiene products in the state of Missouri are taxed as luxury items (which are taxed at 4.25%). For reference, some items that are taxed at that high of a percentage include Beer, tobacco, clothes and jewelry. Feminine hygiene products are not covered Federal Programs such as SNAP and WIC also do not allow you to buy feminine products using their program. This is a real problem for lower income families who cannot afford these products.
In the United States there are five that do not have a sales tax on these products (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon), and as of November 2018 there are ten states that have exempted essential hygiene products (Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, and Pennsylvania).
In Missouri, there is a piece of Legislation that would exempt the tax on the hygiene products, this bill has not gone anywhere in the Missouri Legislature. But, there has been an amendment that was added onto a sales tax bill. Overall, this bill just states that sales taxes cannot be taxed more than a certain percent, so adding this amendment that wouldn’t allow feminine hygiene products to be taxed was a perfect addition to the bill.
Missouri House Bill 747, sponsored by Jim Neeley, 8th District, passed in the House (4 ayes, 3 noes) and will be sent to the Senate. If it passes, it would reduce the sales tax in Missouri by 2% on feminine hygiene products, diapers and incontinence products.
Federal legislation was introduced by California Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California, but there’s been no action since April 2018. Democratic Congressman Billy Long, 7th District, sits on the committee.
Below is an interview with Molly on KNWT Channel 8, a student-run television station.