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Proposed law could make diapers tax-free in Texas

A proposed law could save Texas families a lot of money when buying diapers.

"We buy a lot of them," said Austin mom Sara Hall.

Another mom, Jessica Lee, chose cloth diapering to help with the cost.

"I think my family has probably saved thousands at this point because I have two kids and diapers are expensive," said Austin mom Jessica Lee.

Just-filed House Bill 221 would make all diapers for children and adults tax free in Texas.

"I think diapers being tax-free would be along the lines of food being tax-free. It's a need. It's a necessity. It would be great," said Austin mom Elizabeth Bryson.

"It's really a silent crisis," said Austin Diaper Bank Founder Beverly Hamilton.

Hamilton started the Austin Diaper Bank out of a spare bedroom three years ago. It's now housed in a warehouse full of donated diapers from the community and companies.

"This is an issue here in our community that we have neighbors who don't have diapers they need for their children," said Hamilton.

In a recent survey, mothers reported a diaper shortage of 12 diapers in just one week. In a month, that adds up to 50 diapers they don't have, that they need for their child.

"It may mean fussy babies sitting in dirty diapers," said Hamilton.

And parents report using many different items to try to fill the diaper gap.

"Fast food napkins. Cut-up t-shirts, you name it. To try to stretch," said Hamilton.

Saving 8.25% on sales tax could make the difference according to Hamilton.

"When a family spends $1000 per child per year for diapers alone, that could be a huge savings for them," said Hamilton.

The Austin Diaper Bank helped diaper 4,000 children and seniors last year but Hamilton estimates some 12,000 Travis County children living below the poverty line are still at-risk of diaper shortages.

"The need is huge," said Hamilton.

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