22 States Considered Eliminating the ‘Tampon Tax’ This Year. Here’s What Happened.


In Maine, the House and Senate passed a bill sponsored by Representative Denise Tepler, a Democrat, to repeal the tax. But lawmakers did not designate money to cover its cost, which was estimated at $817,000 in the next full fiscal year, so it did not advance. It could still be funded next year, at which point it would move to the governor’s desk, Ms. Tepler said.

Ms. Tepler said that she agreed that aspects of the tax code didn’t make sense — for example, she asked, why are diapers taxed when fancy cuts of meat aren’t? She called for a deeper rethinking of sales tax policy.

In Georgia, lawmakers shelved a proposal to nix the 4 percent tax, but allocated funds to provide free menstrual products in schools and community centers in low-income areas.

In Virginia, lawmakers reduced the tax on menstrual products and diapers to 2.5 percent, rather than nixing it entirely. It had been as high as 7 percent in some parts of the state.

Michigan was one of many states where anti-tampon tax proposals failed to gain traction. Senator Winnie Brinks, a Democrat who co-sponsored two such bills, said she was moved to act after years of paying for menstrual products for herself and her three daughters. She said that she couldn’t think of any other tax that was levied on only one sex.

In Louisiana, Senator J.P. Morrell, a Democrat, sponsored a bill to eliminate taxes on diapers and menstrual products. In negotiations, lawmakers sought to combine the measure with tax breaks on firearms and other items, he said. Opponents voiced concern about the cost, and prevailed.

The other states where bills were introduced but did not advance were Arizona, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia, according to a database compiled by Period Equity.



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