Economic justice

N.Y. “tampon tax” banned as menstrual products finally shake luxury status

Lifting a tax on tampons, sanitary napkins and panty liners is a matter of social and economic justice, said N.Y. Governor Andrew Cuomo. (Reuters)

Ever since sales tax was instituted in New York in 1965, feminine hygiene products have been taxable, while other personal and medical products were exempt. That all changed on Thursday, when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation banning the “tampon tax” on menstruation products. Tampons, sanitary napkins and panty liners will all be exempt from state and local taxes, from the next sales-tax quarter.

“This is a regressive tax on essential products that women have had to pay for far too long and lifting it is a matter of social and economic justice,” Cuomo said in a statement. Lifting the tax is expected to save New York women $10 million a year.

The campaign against the products being considered a “luxury” had gained momentum this year, with five women launching a class action against the state, and The New York Times editorial board speaking out against the tax.

In an interview with YouTube personality Ingrid Nilsen in January, President Obama said he did not know why these products were taxed.

“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,” the president said. “I think it’s pretty sensible for women in those states … to work to get those taxes removed.”

Fusion reports that only five other U.S. states have chosen not to tax feminine hygiene products.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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