Though necessities like food and medical supplies are exempt from sales taxes in most states, all but a few tax sanitary pads and tampons. Now efforts are building to repeal this so-called “tampon tax” and help ensure that those who need these products can afford them.
The issue gained national attention after two members of the California State Assembly, Cristina Garcia and Ling Ling Chang, introduced a bill in January to make tampons and pads exempt from sales taxes in their state. Prescription drugs, most groceries and medical equipment like walkers arealready exempt.
California’s bill would remove a tax that, as Ms. Garcia and Ms. Chang point out, unfairly penalizes women, who already make only 79 cents for every dollar men earn. And it would drive home the message that tampons and pads are necessities, not luxuries.
Women in California spend an average of $7 a month on tampons and pads. For those living in poverty, that cost is significant. They may have to choose between hygiene products and food or medicine. Food stamps do not cover feminine hygiene products.
From The New York Times.