Illinois Could Be Next State To Do Away With “Pink Tax” On Feminine Hygiene Products

Image courtesy of (Brad Cerenzia)

Just a week after five New York women filed a lawsuit against the state’s Department of Taxation and Finance for tacking on sales tax to tampons, Illinois lawmakers have advanced a bill that would exempt feminine hygiene and incontinence products from state sales tax. 

The Illinois Senate Revenue Committee passed the bill on to full chamber Thursday in a move that puts the state in line with a national movement to remove sales tax from the products, the Associated Press reports.

The bill contends that products, like tampons, are a necessity not a luxury, and those purchasing the items shouldn’t be subjected to additional costs.

If the measure continues to move forward, Illinois would join five states — Pennsylvania, Minnesota, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Maryland — in eliminating the tax on tampons.

Bill sponsor Melinda Bush tells the AP that the so-called “pink tax” on hygiene products is an example of inequality. The women suing the state of New York contend that the tax is discriminatory in nature.

According to the AP, the average statewide sales taxes on the products are about 6.25%, but can reach as high as 10.25% in Chicago; thanks in part, to a combination of city, state, and county taxes.

If the bill passes, Bush estimates that Illinois taxpayers who buy feminine hygiene and incontinence products could see a $14.7 million sales tax reduction.

Illinois advances bill to exempt tampons, similar products from sales tax [The Associated Press]