by Photo courtesy of Close the Gap California

Mrs.Yolanda saves a few dollars each week by not having to pay taxes on the purchase of diapers. 

“It seems that it is not much, but, if you put it together every time you buy, in the end, its good saving,” she said. 

The woman is a mother of two children in Chula Vista. 

"The eldest is already potty training, and that's good because diapers are expensive. But, my other child is still very young and has to use them," she said. 

Through the entirety of 2021, she had bought diapers regularly. "I bought my food in one establishment and diapers in another where they are cheaper," she said. When California enacted a tax exemption for diapers and feminine produce, she said "you definitely noticed the change."

According to Assemblywoman Lorena González Fletcher of San Diego, the situation of Mrs. Yolanda regarding the use of diapers and saving by not paying taxes are more common than what it seems at first glance. One in two mothers in California has had to rely on state social services because their income is limited, and not having to pay taxes has been an additional help.

"More than 50 percent of California-born children are on Medi-Cal," said Lorena González Fletcher. "We know what young parents struggle with."

The assemblywoman authored Assembly Bill 66, which initially exempted diapers from taxes in the fiscal year 2019-2020. 

Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom renewed the exception until December 31. Before that term expired, González Fletcher and her colleague Cristina García of Bell Gardens proposed Senate Bill 82, which Newsom signed to maintain the tax exemption for diapers and feminine products until the end of 2023. 

González Fletcher calculated that the sales tax exemption to diapers saves $100 to $120 per child for needy parents in California, and hopes the state law will inspire other states to pass similar legislation. According to her calculations, the tax exemption for disposable diapers would benefit one out of every three families in the country. 

The impact goes beyond the percentage because it helps families in need, according to González Fletcher. 

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