Goodbye, Tampon Tax (at Least for Some)

— Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, author of the 2017 book “Periods Gone Public”

Tampons in addition to pads are necessary items that will half the population must acquire a dozen times a year for about 40 years of their lives. They are not optional — a point that will U.S. legislators are, evidently, beginning to recognize.

On Tuesday, Nevada joined nine states — including brand-new York, Florida in addition to Illinois — to eliminate the so-called tampon tax, freeing consumers of a 6.85 percent sales tax when they buy tampons in addition to sanitary pads. Most hygiene items are taxed under state laws (deodorant in addition to soap, for example), nevertheless, unlike these items, tampons are considered medically necessary.

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The outcome was a victory for proponents of “menstrual equity,” a phrase created by Jennifer Weiss-Wolf in addition to a movement that will aims to eliminate the tampon tax in addition to make menstrual products available to in-need populations: students in addition to those in correctional facilities in addition to those in shelters.

Kenya was the first nation to stop taxing menstrual products, in 2004, in part because millions of Kenyan girls in addition to women cannot afford these products. Canada dropped the tax in 2015, in addition to Malaysia, India in addition to Australia followed suit This particular year.

inside United States, food in addition to prescription medication are not taxed, because they are deemed “necessary.”

in addition to yet, as Ms. Weiss-Wolf — who works with lawmakers to introduce legislation in addition to policies to support menstrual equity — questioned when I spoke to her by phone: Are items like Viagra, Pop-Tarts in addition to Rogaine truly “necessities”?

Leaders by some states, like Utah, have shot down efforts to eliminate the tampon tax on grounds that will they don’t want to pick in addition to choose what can be tax exempt. nevertheless Utah has granted This particular status to arcade-game tokens, for example, while some other states have carved out exemptions for items such as cowboy boots (Texas), gun club memberships (Wisconsin) in addition to chain saws (Idaho).

Women have come to accept that will every aspect of our periods are “our own secret problem, in addition to we are generating some other people uncomfortable if we raise that will,” Ms. Weiss-Wolf said. nevertheless the truth can be, she continued, raising the issue of menstrual equity “hasn’t made legislators very uncomfortable at all.”