No stamp duty? Some stores are still charging after the new law takes effect

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — No tampon tax, period?

The new state law removing the state sales tax on feminine hygiene products took effect on Thursdaybut Target 8 learned that not all stores were aware of the change.

Emily Beggs – who runs a local branch of the non-profit organization I support the girls and has long advocated for these products to be zero-rated – she couldn’t wait to go to the store to buy her first zero-rated menstrual products. Our team accompanied Beggs for the big moment.

But when we went to check out Creston Market in Grand Rapids, there was a tax: the $6.99 box of tampons came to $7.41 total.

The owner said he was unaware that the new law had come into effect and that he could not remove the tax from his system until his wholesale distributor informed him to do so. On Thursday afternoon, the owner of Creston Market said he received no such notification.

To see if this was the case elsewhere, Target 8 went to a party store down the street.

When Beggs went to checkout, she was again charged sales tax on the box of tampons.

The store manager, who asked to remain anonymous, said he was not aware the tampon tax had been repealed. After learning about the new law, the manager said he would no longer charge the 6% sales tax on feminine hygiene products.

After leaving the second store, Beggs couldn’t believe the stores were still charging the tax.

“My concern is that there are women and people buying menstrual products today who are being taxed, who legally shouldn’t be taxed,” Beggs said. “Especially since we are in a neighborhood where residents desperately need this financial assistance and they are not getting it.”

Beggs decided to try a big retailer, like Meijer. When she checked out, all of her feminine hygiene products were zero-rated.

A receipt shows no tax on feminine hygiene products as of February 3, 2022.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “It’s been five years of work and it’s great to see zero because when I go to the store and I have to buy this for myself or for women in need…there’s always all these extra numbers that we have to pay.”

Target 8 had interviewed Sen. Winne Brinks, D-Grand Rapids, earlier in the day about when the law took effect.

“It’s just a beautiful day, I woke up this morning and the first thing I thought was, ‘It’s the day,'” Brinks said during this interview.

Target 8 contacted his office again to inform him of the situation. After learning that some places were still charging sales tax, a spokesperson for Brinks’ office opened an investigation with the Michigan Treasury Department.

The ministry released a statement late Thursday afternoon.

“We are sorry to learn of this situation. The Michigan Department of Treasury published a review in mid-December advise taxpayers to no longer collect sales tax on feminine hygiene products. Consumers can request a refund from a retailer if they are accidentally charged sales tax. When a new law comes into effect, it often takes a little time for retailers to update their systems. We encourage individuals to check their receipts to ensure they are not charged.

Treasury Department Deputy Public Information Officer Ron Leix

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