The Fight to End the "Tampon Tax"

I recently read an article from NPR about what’s been called the “Tampon Tax.” There are thousands of items that are exempt from sales tax across the United States, but menstrual products are not one of them. After reading this article I investigated it and there are common types of exemptions. Goods that are considered necessities like food, medicines and clothing can be exempt from sales tax according to SalesTaxSupport.com. In the article from NPR, Chapstick, Viagra and dandruff shampoo were the items mentioned that were exempt from sales tax.

To me, this seems ridiculous. I don’t see how Viagra can be labeled a necessity and be exempt from sales tax, but menstrual products are not. Women are plagued with periods every month, at no fault of their own, and menstrual products are not cheap. That being said, there may be change on the horizon. Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania all exempt feminine hygiene products from sales tax. Nebraska, Virginia and Arizona have all moved to introduce legislation exempting these products from taxation. I found it interesting that although there is no tax that is specifically for tampons, tampons and other feminine hygiene products do not fall under the umbrella of medical and health supplies in the states where medical and health supplies are not taxed.

The fact that more states are moving to end the sales tax on these products is a great thing. Hopefully, progress will continue to be made.

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