Many older Texans need diapers to manage incontinence. House Bill 300 would make diapers more affordable. Though other basic needs, like groceries and over-the-counter medicine, are exempt from the state sales tax to make them more affordable, diapers are not currently exempted.
State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, has filed House Bill 300, which would give diapers tax-exempt status. It would do the same for feminine hygiene products and infant care items.
Diapers are currently considered luxury goods in Texas, which incur sales taxes from 6.25 percent to 8.25 percent. Diapers cannot be purchased with benefits from SNAP or Medicaid and are only covered by Medicare for nursing home residents.
Incontinence is a natural and common part of aging. The National Diaper Bank Network estimates that 25 million adults in America experience incontinence. Access to diapers supports the health and dignity of people who need them. Excess exposure to liquid can cause skin ulcers and urinary tract infections. Diapers can also increase an individual’s independence and ability to leave their home comfortably.
“By making adult incontinence products tax free, more older Texans and Texans with disabilities will have access to them and be able to more fully participate in work and daily activities,” said Kathy Green, director of state and federal advocacy of AARP Texas. “We applaud the Legislature for making this a priority this session.”