Florida to Permanently Exempt Diapers from Sales Tax: Relief for Parents and Families
In a move that brings relief to parents, the cost of diapers is set to become more affordable as they will soon be permanently exempted from sales tax in Florida. The measure aims to ease the financial burden on families and provide significant savings for moms and dads, particularly those with limited resources.
The impact on the state’s revenue is expected to be relatively small, making the tax exemption a win-win situation for both parents and the economy. Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book of Broward, who has championed this cause for six years, expressed her enthusiasm for the permanent exemption, citing her own experiences as a parent of twins and understanding the costs associated with diapers.
The exemption also extends to other baby and toddler products, including cribs, strollers, and adult diaper and incontinence products. These changes are part of a broader package of tax law amendments that are projected to save Florida consumers and businesses an estimated $1.3 billion in the next fiscal year.
The reduction in the commercial-lease tax is the most significant tax break, amounting to $256 million. Additionally, popular sales-tax “holidays” will be renewed, providing exemptions for specific products such as disaster supplies and back-to-school items.
The permanent sales tax exemption on diapers holds particular significance for low-income families with young children. Brittany Wolfe, founder and executive director of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Diaper Bank, which assists lower-income families, expressed excitement over the exemption’s potential to alleviate the challenges faced by communities in acquiring affordable diapers. With rising inflation, diapers have become a financial burden, and the savings from tax exemptions can make a real difference in ensuring families have enough for essentials like food and clothing.
Diapers are a significant expense for families, with prices continually increasing. The average infant requires up to 12 diapers per day, resulting in an estimated monthly cost of $100. Even at discount stores, prices can be exorbitant. The permanent sales tax exemption will provide an average annual savings of $63 to $84 for families in Broward and Palm Beach counties, where the sales tax rate is 7%.
The journey to secure the permanent exemption has been a long one. Book initially introduced legislation in 2017, and it gained traction with the support of State Senator Kathleen Passidomo, State Representative Anna Eskamani, and Governor Ron DeSantis. However, it took several years for the legislation to gain momentum and pass.
The tax exemption for diapers acknowledges the essential role they play in child-rearing and supports Florida’s ambition to be a family-friendly state. The exemption will significantly benefit lower-income families, allowing them to allocate their resources more effectively and provide their children with adequate care.
As Florida’s economy flourishes, the tax breaks provided through House Bill 7063 will help boost the overall financial well-being of families, while also stimulating economic growth. By ensuring that families have access to affordable and essential items like diapers, the state aims to support the health and well-being of its youngest residents.