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Austin City Council approves resolution related to exempting menstrual products, diapers from state sales tax

Texas is one of 26 states that charges sales tax on tampons.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin City Council on Thursday took action aimed at reducing period poverty.

A resolution approved on the council's agenda directs the city manager to include in the City's legislative agenda an exemption of menstrual and diaper products from state sales tax. The resolution also includes "an expression of support for other items related to reducing period poverty," according to the agenda item.

The resolution is sponsored by Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter and councilmembers Paige Ellis, Vanessa Fuentes, Natasha Harper-Madison and Kathie Tovo.

Texas is one of 26 states that charges sales tax on tampons. According to Period, an organization that distributes free mental products to communities in need, said Texans can spend up to $7.58 on tampons, more than the state's minimum wage.

Last month, the city council discussed a number of resolutions aimed at protecting reproductive rights. The council approved a resolution that could expand City employees' access to infertility treatment, and Councilmember Fuentes introduced a series of resolutions as part of the "Fight Back for Reproductive Health Agenda."

The first of those resolutions approved prohibits employment and housing discrimination based on reproductive health decisions, and the second resolution approved provides free menstrual products in City-owned facilities. 

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