This month in Utah, a panel of male law makers voted against exempting feminine hygiene products from sales and use tax.
The so-called “tampon tax” is thought to be an additional economic burden on women. Tampons and other feminine hygiene products are a basic necessity. Most states exempt basic necessities from tax – for example, food from the grocery store or prescription medication. However, only a few number of states offer exemptions for feminine hygiene products. (Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.)
Legislation to exempt feminine hygiene products has been introduced around the country and even the globe. In 2015, Canadian lawmakers voted to eliminate the GST on feminine hygiene products. At the same time, French lawmakers voted down a reduction to VAT for these products. In the United States, legislation seeking to exempt these products is pending in a handful of states including California, Connecticut, New York, and Ohio.