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Non-profit reacts to Texas period tax update

House Bill 300, which passed 145 to 2 in the Texas House of Representatives Wednesday, would exempt menstrual, pregnancy and some baby and medical products from taxation.
period products
Posted at 5:45 PM, Mar 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-29 19:41:43-04

CORPUS CHRISTI — In a 145 to 2 vote Wednesday, The Texas House of Representatives passed House Bill 300 which would exempt menstrual, pregnancy and some baby and medical products from taxation.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” Christina Bonner, chief operating officer of Women’s and Men’s Health Services of the Coastal Bend, said.

The legislative budget board said it would cost the state an estimated $194-million in lost sales tax over two years.

There are currently 24 states that exempt period products from taxation. Five others don’t have a state-wide sales tax.

“It’s great to prioritize women’s health,” Bonner said. “Texas historically has not done a great job of doing that.”

Many for the bill said it’s a step forward for women’s rights in a time when they need it the most.

“People don’t like to talk about menstruation or periods and I think it’s really important because it’s something that happens to everyone,” Bonner said.

Bonner’s non-profit provides reproductive healthcare, annual exams, pap smears, STD screenings, women’s and men’s health and primary care.

“To people who don’t have insurance or don’t have access to care,” Bonner said.

Bonner said of the 17,000 unduplicated patients they see every year, 12,500 of them are women of reproductive age.

“I think one in five (people) report missing school or work because they don’t have access to period products,” Bonner said. “Just having to miss out on school, work, life because you don’t have access to something that’s a basic need, to me it just blows my mind.”

An average box of Tampons is $7. But, with the added state sales tax which at lowest is 6.25 percent, a box could come out to at least $7.44.

The minimum wage in Texas is $7.25/hour.

So, a person making minimum wage would have to work at least an hour to be able to afford just one box of Tampons.

“We get asked a lot by our patients about menstrual products or how they can get menstrual products or if we can provide them,” Bonner said.

It’s estimated a woman will spend more than $66,000 in Tampons in her lifetime.

But that’s only one menstrual product.

Conner said Women’s and Men’s relies on donations to put period packs together and give them to their patients for free.

“We go out and buy in bulk pads and tampons and create period packs,” Bonner said. “It’s basically meant to get you all the way through a month.”

She said ending the tax on those products would make access easier and more frequent for women of all incomes and backgrounds.

“It’s just something that really is a basic need like toilet paper is.”

For information on how someone can donate or if someone needs menstrual products, visit their website.

They have locations on 3536 Holly Rd and 4410 Dillon Ln., #1 in Corpus Christi, 1022B S. 14th St. in Kingsville and 2041 East Main Street, Suite 300 in Alice.

Crimson Cause is also a local non-profit that accepts products to donate to people who need them.