Two California legislators are introducing a measure to make tampons and other feminine hygiene products exempt from sales tax.
Democrat Cristina Garcia and Republican Ling Ling Chang jointly authored the bipartisan measure this week, saying that ending the so-called "tampon tax" is a step toward gender equality.
"Basically we are being taxed for being women. This is a step in the right direction to fix this gender injustice," Garcia said in a press release today. "Women have no choice but to buy these products, so the economic effect is only felt by woman and women of color are particularly hard hit by this tax. You can't just ignore your period, it's not like you can just ignore the constant flow."
According to the statement, in California alone, women spend $20 million annually in taxes on tampons and pads.
"This is not insignificant to women, especially poor women on a tight budget who struggle to pay for basic necessities like a box of tampons or pads every month for their adult life," Garcia wrote on her Facebook page today. "If we can't make them free we should at least make them more affordable."
Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and New Jersey have already gotten rid of sales tax on feminine hygiene products. If the bill passes, it will join a list of other tax-exempt products in California like prescription medication and farm equipment, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Chang explained what a big deal this policy is in the press release, saying: "Our government is imposing a charge exclusively on women by forcing them to pay extra for the 'privilege' of a health necessity."
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