First Read

Bye bye, diaper tax as Lauren Book takes a victory lap

A Florida sales tax exemption now has become permanent for diapers and incontinence products.

Image by Myléne from Pixabay

While Florida Democrats may not have had much to celebrate this session, one of the party’s legislative leaders finally got one of her long-time policy goals across the finish line. Florida Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book had been pushing to permanently eliminate sales tax on baby diapers for seven years. 

After a one-year run that started last year, the tax exemption now has become permanent for diapers and incontinence products for Floridians of all ages as part of this year’s tax package. Notably, she hasn’t received institutional credit for it: Gov. Ron DeSantis rolled the permanent tax break into his 2023 budget proposal. 

He originally gave credit to Book and Democratic state Rep. Anna Eskamani for the year-long tax break in 2020, but has not tied them to it since. The break was passed through a committee bill – not the bill Book filed this session. Nonetheless, Book told City & State she was proud to lead the fight and of the bipartisan work that made the tax break a permanent reality. 

“Essential health and hygiene items should not be taxed, and Florida families should not be forced to choose between filling up their gas tank, putting food on the table, or buying needed diapers,” she said. “As costs are rising across the state, this is one place families will have some much-needed relief.”

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