Tampons Are Taxed in 40 States as a “Luxury Item”

These are all the states that have a tax on tampons and pads for being a supposed “luxury item.”

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Graph credit: Fusion

Yep. 40 states charge women extra money for having periods. You’ll be interested to know that some states have some interesting things that are not categorized as luxury items, while menstrual products are. For example, in Louisiana, they have set aside weekends where you can purchase firearms tax-free. And in Texas, they set aside certain weekends for some school supplies and energy efficient machines to be tax free.  But necessary menstrual hygiene products? Nope. Women get to pay the luxury-item sales tax.

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Photo Credit: Screen shot from AJ+ based on the statistic from the hill.com

Cristina Garcia is a Democratic sponsor of a bill in California, (where taxpayers pay an estimated 20 million on the tampon tax) who is trying to remove the burdensome sales tax. She said, “Women have no choice but to buy these products, so the economic effect is only felt by women and women of color are particularly hard hit by this tax.”

The tax on menstrual products is a state-government issue, meaning it cannot be dismantled in one fell swoop by the federal government. Which means it’ll take each state passing laws to get rid of the tax. Luckily, people have already started petitioning their local representatives (and we can too) to get rid of the tax. But, as you can see, there are still 40 states that have the ridiculous tax on periods.

To me, this tax represents yet another occurrence in which women pay in our society, for being female.

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Photo credit: Takepart.com

Ever heard of the pink tax? This refers to the extra amount of money women unnecessarily pay for a product that is the same as the male-counterpart, but is marketed towards women. The pink tax, in part, refers to a large scale study conducted by The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs that tested over 800 products with female and male analogs. The study found that overall, “…women’s products cost 7 percent more than similar products for men.”

So women have to pay more for the same products, and they get a “luxury item” sales tax imposed on them for needing to buy an item for natural, biological functioning. Thanksssss a lot. These oversights (and/or potentially deliberate actions) represent yet another way women pay for being female in our society.