On Thursday, June 16, the California State Assembly approved a bill that will end the luxury tax currently placed on tampons and other feminine hygiene products. This bill was first introduced by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) at the beginning of this year.
In a press release from January, Assemblywoman Garcia said, “This is not insignificant to women, especially poor women on a tight budget who struggle to pay for basic necessities like a box of tampons or pads every month for their adult life.” In California alone, people with periods pay more than $20 million annually on taxes for tampons and sanitary napkins.
Even President Obama spoke out about the unfair tax on such necessities, telling lifestyle vlogger Ingrid Nilsen, “I have no idea why states would tax these as luxury items. I suspect it’s because men were making the laws when those taxes were passed.”
To put it into perspective: Wisconsin does not tax Viagra, New York does not tax Rogaine and Indianna does not tax barbecued sunflower seeds. But all three states tax feminine hygiene products.
Because so few states have addressed this gender biased tax disparity, the The kNOw weighed in on why they support California’s decision to remove the luxury tax.