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Soon-to-be new mom Lauren Book wants diapers exempt from sales tax

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New state Sen. Lauren Book, who’s eight months pregnant with twins, has filed legislation to exempt diapers and baby wipes from the state’s 6 percent sales tax.


Book, a Broward County Democrat, filed her bill (SB 252) Thursday. A similar provision was filed last month by House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz of Tampa.

The 32-year-old lawmaker, elected in November, said the idea came to her as she attended pregnancy classes. Book is having a boy and a girl, due in February.

“For many families, buying diapers can be a (financial) burden,” she said in a phone interview. “It’s not a luxury item.”

The average child “will use more than 2,700 diapers in the first year alone, which can add up to more than $550 (based on an average price of $0.20 per disposable diaper),” according to Investopedia. “And don’t forget an average of $20 per month for wipes.”

Based on that, Book’s bill could save a family about $48 a year.

Another example: A 128-count box of newborn-size Pampers Swaddlers Diapers costs roughly $35 at Wal-mart. A tax exemption would save about $2 per box.

And the language would extend the exemption to adult products, such as Depends.

The legislation defines diapers as “a product used to absorb or contain body waste, including, but not limited to, baby diapers and adult diapers and pads designed and used for incontinence.”

Baby wipes, as defined by the bill, are “a moistened, disposable, often antiseptic tissue used chiefly for cleansing the skin, especially of babies and children.”

Bills also have been filed for the 2017 Legislative Session to create sales-tax exemptions on feminine hygiene products such as tampons.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at [email protected]

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