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Florida bills exempt diapers, other products from sales tax

Any parent can tell you the cost of diapers can really add up. Now, a new bill plans to make the financial burden a little easier by making diapers and other similar products tax-free.

We spoke to Southwest Florida moms with small children, who told us about how it could help their family.

“Forty dollars once a week times that by four, you’re looking at a huge expense,” Hoffman said.

Meghan Hoffman says her little boy, Rowan, goes through five to seven diapers a day. So, every week, she stocks up. Hoffman is not alone.

“Yesterday, I bought two giant boxes, and it was about $160,” Lindy Shaw said.

A new measure in the Florida Senate has their support and support of the Lifeline Family Center in Cape Coral, which supports young moms struggling to make ends meet.

“We get phone calls through our outreach office weekly saying, ‘You know what? I get paid on Tuesday, but I can’t afford diapers to get me through the weekend. Can you come help me,” said Bethany Freer, the public relations marketing coordinator for Lifeline Family Center.

Also included in the bill are incontinence pads, liners and and undergarments.

A pack of 25 diapers cost us nearly $9.00 with 50 cents in sales tax. So, if someone’s child uses around 200 diapers a month, the cost can start to add up.

“For a bill like the one that’s being presented to just take off the taxes, that’s more money that they can put towards food or put towards medicine,” Freer said. “Because that’s the reality that people face right now in this world.”

Debate over the bill begins Tuesday. If the state passes it into law, it would be effective in 2021.

Moms such as Sierra Jones say every little bit helps.

“When you have kiddos, every penny counts,” Jones said. “So to be able to have a little bit of a break with the tax exemption would be definitely a blessing.”

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Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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