Florida state Senator Lauren Book (D) recently filed legislation (SB 56) that would end sales taxes on diapers, incontinence undergarments, incontinence pads, or incontinence liners, etc. A similar bill (HB 163) has been filed in the Florida House by Rep. Janet Cruz (D).
Senator Book told the Sun Sentinel, “As a legislature we provide tax breaks for businesses, we do the sales tax holidays for back to school and hurricane preparedness, all of which are extremely important, but this would be giving families direct help and support when they need it most,” Book said. “I’ve talked to moms who have had to keep their children in [individual] diapers much longer than they care to, causing urinary tract infections and other issues because they simply don’t have the means to purchase more.”
A typical baby needs ten to twelve diapers a day and a toddler needs approximately eight diapers. At a cost between $100 and $120 a month, diapers are an expense that many families struggle to meet.
According to a recent study of diaper use, one in twenty moms who have had to cut back on other purchases to pay for diapers have reused a disposable diaper. From this same study, 36% of mothers living in poverty regularly run out of clean diapers for their infants. The study found that 1 in 3 mothers have had to clean out and reuse soiled diapers, or has had to choose between diapers and other basic needs like food, utilities or child care.
Raver, Letourneau, Scott, D’Agostino. June 2010. Huggies Every Little Bottom Study. Diaper Need in the U.S. and Candada. http://nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/huggies-2010-every-little-bottom-study.pdf