Bill proposed to exempt diapers from state sales tax

Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 4:23 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Last month our viewers donated approximately 50,000 diapers to the Women and Children’s Center of the Sierra.

The four-week campaign was designed to help low income moms like Diana Antunez--who despite her husband’s job often found it tough to make ends meet at the end of the month--especially when diapers were added to the list.

“He gets about $400 a week,” says Antunez. “We have to pay rent $350 a week. So, that leaves us with $150. “And we have to pay all those things and at the end we have $1 or $2.”

It’s estimated a family can spend $1,200 yearly or more on diapers. And that’s just with one child.

If you talk to Nevada Senator Edgar Flores, diapers are not luxury items.

“We may need them when we are older,” says Senator Flores who represents District 2 in Clark County. “But we absolutely need them at birth up to the age of three or four whatever it may be.” Senator Flores is the sponsor of Senate Bill 428.

A bill that if passed would exempt diapers, both baby and adult, from sales tax.

“If something is essential to a human, essential to a family, we shouldn’t be taxing it. Bottom line,” he says.

Tuesday, Senator Flores presented his bill to the Senate Committee on Revenue and Economic Development.

As with any tax-exempt item, it means less money for state coffers to the tune of $2.2 million a year. But there would also be less money for local governments and schools. In all about $9 million annually.

But Senator Flores is convinced that money will be made up when these families have extra cash to buy other essentials like gas, clothing, or other taxable goods. And he says diaper banks may benefit from more donations as benefactors will not pay a sales tax.

While most people spoke in favor of the bill, including the state Republican party and the retail association, one caller was not.

“I worked full time and was well below poverty level for many years and never once took from any government program,” testified Lisa Partee by phone.

Senator Flores says he has bi-partisan support on his bill. The committee took no action today on Senate Bill 428.

But it needs to pass out of the committee by Friday April 14, 2023, or it will die.

However, if it passes the Assembly and Senate and receives the governor’s signature, Nevada voters will have the final say in November 2024 as they vote up or down to exempt diapers from Nevada sales tax.