Lawsuit: New York Shouldn’t Charge Sales Tax On Tampons

Image courtesy of Roebot

Should tampon sales be taxed by the state? Five Manhattan women don’t think so, and have filed a lawsuit against New York’s Department of Taxation and Finance saying it should be tax-free.

While other medical items are sold without a tax — including Rogaine, foot powder, dandruff shampoo, ChapStick, adult diapers, and incontinence pads, the lawsuit notes, medical items used only by women like tampons and sanitary napkins are taxed.

“The department’s double standard for men and women finds no support in the tax law and serves no purpose other than to discriminate,” the suit says, as reported by the New York Daily News. “It is… undisputable that tampons and sanitary pads serve multiple medical purposes. They are not luxury items, but a necessity for women’s health.”

According to court papers, the average woman will spend at least $70 a year on tampons and pads, bringing in New York a total of $14 million in taxes every year.

Those taxes hit poor women especially hard, one plaintiff tells the New York Daily News.

“It’s a regressive tax. Poor women don’t have the ability to buy tampons in bulk. They buy in small packages and thus they are taxed more,” she said.

The lawsuit is seeking an order permanently banning the state from taxing tampons or pads.

There are others trying to change the tax, including Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal who introduced legislation in Albany seeking to end “a regressive tax on women and their bodies.”

New lawsuit challenges New York State’s tampon tax [New York Daily News]

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