Legislators Put The Kibosh On New York’s Tampon Sales Tax

Image courtesy of Roebot

Tampons are about to get a little bit cheaper for New York residents, after the state’s senate unanimously approved a bill that exempts feminine hygiene products from sales tax.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Sue Serino, who received the thanks of Sen. Diana Savino upon the bill’s passing, reports Capital New York.

“It is a way of providing some tax relief to women everywhere, young girls in particular,” Sen. Diane Savino said. “But on behalf of women of a certain age everywhere, I would love to offer a friendly amendment and ask for a rebate program, Senator Serino. But I know it would probably bankrupt the state.”

The legislation was passed by the Assembly passed last month, and has the backing of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He’s expected to sign it into law.

“We’ve said we’d work with the Legislature to repeal this tax and applaud their action,” said a spokeswoman for the governor.

Last month, five women filed a class action lawsuit against New York’s Department of Taxation and Finance, saying that while other medical items are sold without a tax — including Rogaine, foot powder, dandruff shampoo, ChapStick, adult diapers, and incontinence pads — medical items used only by women like tampons and sanitary napkins are subject to the state’s 4% sales tax.

The department says feminine hygiene products aren’t on the list of medical items because they don’t treat or prevent illnesses or diseases. They do prevent a lot of other really bad things from happening though.

Elsewhere in the country, the Illinois state legislature is considering a bill to exempt feminine hygiene and incontinence products from state sales tax. Last month, the Chicago City Council went ahead of its state and voted to stop collecting city sales taxes on these items.

Senate unanimously passes bill eliminating ‘tampon tax’ [Capital New York]

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