INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana legislature has ended the sales tax on diapers. This is a part of the inflation-relief package passed during the Indiana Special Session.
"Diapers are a necessity. They're not always defined as a necessity, but we know as parents, you need to have diapers for your child. There are no other options," Ashley Burns, President and CEO of Indiana Diaper Bank, said.
The Diaper Bank distributes diapers to community partners throughout the state. Those partners give the diapers away for free to families in need. She says that with historic inflation, high gas prices and a formula shortage, it's not easy for young families these days.
Brittney Floyd wants the best for her nine-month-old son Uriah, so she shops sales and coupons to stay ahead of rising prices. But lately, it's been a struggle.
"It has been a little more challenging because finding the resources just in general has been a little more difficult," she said.
Burns can tell that families are struggling because donations are slowing and the need is increasing. In February, the bank distributed about 35,000 diapers. In July, they gave out nearly 60,000.
"This is providing a lifeline for a lot of families that need the diapers and wipes," she said.
But with the tax lifted, things could be a little easier for Hoosier families. Diapers in Indiana are subject to the standard 7% sales tax. The National Diaper Bank Network says that's the second highest diaper tax in the country.
"Indiana's kind of a crazy state because they don't tax lottery tickets or candy bars, but they've been taxing diapers," Burns said.
The National Diaper Bank Network estimates that families spend about $80 per month on diapers. A 7% sales tax would add an additional $5.60 a month. Burns and other advocates have been asking the state to stop taxing diapers for years, and now, it's codified in law.
"It means that 7% more diapers can go into those families' pockets," Burns said.
"Those few 5 to 10 extra dollars that we were spending on taxes that can be on literally a 24 oz liquid formula, and that lasts 2 days for an infant. So I think it would be very beneficial," Floyd said.
If your family needs diapers, you can find a local free distribution center at the Indiana Diaper Bank's website.
**Notice: Original information provided to WRTV claimed the sales tax would restart on July 1, 2023.