The Movement to Abolish the “Tampon Tax”

Tampons and sanitary pads are still subjected to sales tax in 33 states — as if they’re a luxury item. 🤔Now, the movement to stop penalizing people with periods is on.

Luxury item or basic necessity?

Tampons and sanitary pads are still subjected to sales tax in 33 U.S. states. Meanwhile, things like hair loss treatment and gun club memberships are tax-exempt in some of the same states. Jennifer Weiss-Wolf wants to end the “tampon tax” in all states by April 15, 2020 — Tax Day. The movement to ban the “tampon tax” has gained momentum and was supported by Barack Obama in 2016. In November 2019, Ohio become the latest state to ban the “tampon tax.” It's another example of a “pink tax” — the higher prices women pay for gender-specific products like razors, dry cleaning or toys.

“For a family that has two or three daughters and is living either pay check to pay check or with public assistance, and it comes down to the decision of paying the rent or shelling out $15 or $20 dollars for tampons and pads for the females in the house, that is a problem. You couldn't walk down the street if you didn't have the proper protection you needed during those five days of the month. And therefore, we pay a lot for these products anyway, they are commercial products, and the state adding sales tax to them just creates a financial burden that seems unfair, discriminatory and is something that a lot of people now starting to rally around,” Jennifer Weiss-Wolf - Founder Period Equity tells Brut.

According to the Roosevelt Institute, Sanitary protections cost on average $4800 over a lifetime. Overall, people who menstruate spend around $150 million a year on sales tax alone for these items based on data from Period Equity. The tax on sanitary products was first banned in Kenya in 2004 and now in India, Canada, Malaysia, and Australia. One of the ways to end Menstrual discrimination and stigma surrounding periods.