By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver
(Denver, Colo.) Denver is one vote away from ending the city tax on diapers.
Denver City Council voted Monday unanimously to approve the first reading of a bill that ends the diaper tax. The council must approve it again next week to become law on Oct. 1.
"Inflation and the rising cost of living in Denver have created a burden for families and Denver's older residents, many of whom are on fixed incomes," councilmember Amanda Sawyer said in a statement. "Diapers are necessary, and they should be exempted from sales tax just like any other necessary product."
Sawyer and councilmember Jolon Clark sponsored the bill. "Diapers are an essential item, but unlike other essential items, they have been taxed," Clark said in a statement. "This tax disproportionately affects low-income families in our community, and this exemption will provide relief to those who need it most."
Tax collects up to $800,000 per year
City staff created the bill. "Incontinence products and diapers mean absorbent cloth or disposable products worn by humans who are incapable of, or have difficulty, controlling their bladder or bowel movements," the bill describes.
The tax earns Denver between $500,000 and $800,000 per year. The General Fund will have to absorb the loss.
Menstrual products already tax-exempt
The Colorado legislature passed a law in 2022 exempting menstrual products and diapers from state sales tax. Cities must enact exemptions if they want to end city sales tax. Denver already exempts menstrual products from city sales tax, a measure led by Clark in 2019.
Aurora ended its tax on diapers earlier this year. According to Baby2Baby, a nationwide group advocating for an end to diaper taxes, 33 states tax diapers. Rates range from 1.5 to 7 percent.