California Governor Gavin Newsom announced his proposal yesterday for a five-year elimination of sales taxes on purchases of diapers and menstrual products. Also in the works is a new income tax credit for low-income parents and expanded childcare services. Funding to cover these costs is expected to come from taxes collected on the sale of legalized marijuana. Newsom’s revised state budget will be presented to the California State Legislature tomorrow.
Since taking office in January, Newsom has been extremely vocal about his desire to make living in California more affordable for families. In a statement released by his office, Newsom said, “As anyone who takes care of kids can tell you — these costs add up. From diapers to childcare, raising kids is expensive wherever you live. But when you factor in the cost of living here in California, it is close to impossible.” Newsom’s administration has dubbed these proposals aimed at families’ cost of living expenses its Parents Agenda.
What families can expect if the proposals are expected: an elimination of taxes on diapers for newborns and toddlers, as well as sales takes on tampons, sanitary napkins, menstrual sponges and menstrual cups. These sales tax repeals would launch in January with a 2025 expiration date.
A proposed state Earned Income Tax of up to $1,000 (doubling a projected proposal Newsom made in January) for kids under six would also be instituted. Newsom is also looking to increase childcare for families enrolled in CalWorks, the state’s welfare assistance program. The services would be overseen by the California Department of Education and available to children as old as 12. Newsom is targeting tax dollars from the sale of legalized marijuana to fund these programs.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, “Proposition 64, approved by voters in 2016, states revenues from the sale of marijuana may be spent only on government programs ‘that further the purpose’ of the law.” So far, this has focused on drug research and law enforcement efforts. The governor was a principal proponent of the marijuana legalization initiative.
In response to Newsom’s plan to tax legal marijuana, Laura Lagano, author of The CBD Oil Miracle an co-founder of the Holistic Cannabis Academy, voiced her concerns to Parentology. ” When taxes are high on a product that is readily available and less expensive on the black market, many consumers opt to buy the product illegally.”
Where tax revenue generated from the sale of marijuana is allocated is a key issue for state and local governments, Lagano emphasizes. “If the revenue were funneled to issues that directly benefited constituents and communities, the impact could potentially be a positive one,” she says. “The community, however, would need to actually see or experience that benefit.”
Of Parents Agenda, First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom has said, ““Nothing is more important than our children’s futures. We are fighting for a future where our daughters will be valued equally to our sons, a California where every single child, no matter the ZIP Code or the family that they’re born into will have the best possible start in life. And a California where every parent will have the support they need to build the best possible future for their children.”
Office of Governor Gavin Newsom: Governor Newsom and First Partner Launch Parents Agenda as Part of Broader Affordability Push
LA Times: No more sales taxes on diapers and tampons under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget