Assemblyman Stirpe: ‘DIAPER Act’ Exempting Diapers from All Sales Tax Passes Both Houses

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Assemblyman Al Stirpe (D-Cicero) announced legislation that he co-sponsored to exempt diapers from all sales taxes in New York passed both houses of the Legislature (A.8528-A)

“Diapers are a basic need that no baby should ever have to go without,” Stirpe said. “For many families struggling to make ends meet, sales taxes add an extra expense to an already pricy essential item like diapers. Additionally, elderly adults with limited income can also struggle to purchase these items that they need to live with dignity. It was only right we passed this commonsense measure and it’s essential that this bill is signed into law.”

Stirpe saw firsthand the need for this vital measure when he volunteered to help the Central New York Diaper Bank package diapers for local families. Approximately half of the children younger than 5 years old in Syracuse live in poverty, and low-income families spend about two times as much as those who can buy diapers in bulk, according to CNY Diaper Bank.[1] Most childcare providers also require parents to provide disposable diapers for their kids, preventing parents without access to diapers from utilizing these services, Stirpe noted. As families struggle with rising inflation for basic needs, removing taxes on diapers will help ease this burden.

The Diaper Initiative Affordability for Parents and Elderly Remedy (DIAPER) Act that Stirpe helped passed would prevent municipalities from collecting local sales taxes on child and adult diapers. While these items have been exempted from the state’s 4% sales tax since April 2006, several counties have not provided a local exemption.

“While this bill will not end diaper need, it recognizes that diapers are an essential need for babies. Local sales tax may seem like a small amount, but over the course of a year it could allow some families to purchase 20 – 30 days worth of diapers they otherwise could not have afforded. This is a positive step forward and we hope it’s the first of many actions NYS elected officials take to address this critical issue,” said Michela Hugo, Founder and Director of CNY Diaper Bank.