Children’s Action Alliance: Proposed tampons, diaper tax exemptions a cause for concern

Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2023 - 3:33pm

Gov. Katie Hobbs released her proposed budget earlier this month. It includes things like investments in housing and education. There are also sales tax exemptions for feminine hygiene products and diapers. 

David Lujan is the CEO of the Children’s Action Alliance. He says there’s a lot to like in Hobbs’ budget. But the proposed sales tax exemption for things like tampons and diapers are cause for some concern. 

"We think that there's a better way to approach those issues," he said.

Take the diaper tax. Lujan says the average parent will spend about $80 a month on diapers. If the exemption goes into effect, a family might save $7 a month. 

"And $7 a month savings is good. But we think a better approach is to take the $16 million that a sales tax exemption would cost and put that into a direct assistance program that's more targeted to the low-income families," he said. "The reason that it will cost $16 million to do a sales tax exemption is because all parents would get that sales tax exemption, regardless of income. So even your wealthiest families families that are making $500,000 or more a year, are going to get that sales tax exemption, even though they could probably afford to pay the sales tax."

Lujan says another concern are simply the number of tax cuts over the years. 

"Arizona has cut taxes 31 out of the last 33 years, the last two years in particular, we have reduced tax revenue by over $2 billion. And that's a you can draw a direct line between all of those tax cuts in our inability to adequately fund things like public education, access to child care, resources to make housing more affordable health care." 

Lujan says if we continue to drain revenue in the state, it will be difficult to fund the priorities that many Arizonans depend upon.