Local sales tax exemptions for essential products

Written by: Children's Campaign
Date Posted: October 21, 2022

This past legislative session, HB22-1055: Sales Tax Exemption Essential Hygiene Products was signed into law by Gov. Polis. This bill creates a state sales tax exemption for diapers and period products and went into effect on Aug. 10. The goal of this legislation is to reduce diaper need and period poverty in Colorado by making it easier for families and households with low incomes to afford essential diapers and period products. The Colorado Children’s Campaign and Raise Colorado supported this legislation.  

Diapers and period products are not covered by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Therefore, many parents and menstruating people are essentially “on their own” in providing diapers and period products for their children and themselves. Without access to essential and quality diapers and period products, serious health complications can occur. In addition, most daycare facilities require parents to provide a supply of diapers for their child to attend. Nationally, 57% of parents experiencing diaper need who rely on child care said they missed work or school due to not having diapers.

The passage of HB22-1055 is a huge step toward diaper and menstrual equity, yet many communities across Colorado still tax diapers and period products locally. Aurora and Denver both have a local tax exemption on diapers and period products, and Fort Collins has a tax exemption on period products. When communities implement a local tax exemption in combination with the sales tax exemption on these products, the impact is even greater on community members. 

The Women’s Foundation of Colorado has created a Local Sales Tax Exemption for Essential Products Toolkit, “Don’t Tax Dignity.” Local organizations and advocates across the state can use this toolkit to advocate for a local sales tax exemption on diapers and period products in their community. This toolkit includes social media graphics, templates, existing legislation, and other resources. 

To get started, check out the donttaxdignity.co 

Below is a list of organizations providing free and/or low cost essential products to parents, caregivers, and individuals across Colorado: 

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About Children's Campaign

The Colorado Children’s Campaign is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization committed since 1985 to realizing every chance for every child in Colorado. We advocate for the development and implementation of data-driven public policies that improve child wellbeing in health, education and early childhood. We do this by providing Coloradans with trusted data and research on child wellbeing and organizing an extensive state-wide network of dedicated child advocates. For more information, please visit www.coloradokids.org.