The state of Ohio hopes to be the 16th state to eliminate the so-called "pink tax.” Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are coming together and reintroducing legislation that includes an amendment that would repeal the sales tax on feminine hygiene products.
Republican Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Dayton, and Democratic Rep. Brigid Kelly, D-Cincinnati, reintroduced the “pro family” and “pro women” amendment that would make tampons and sanitary pads tax free.
Last year, the Ohio House of Representatives passed a bill that included an amendment that removed the tax on feminine hygiene products. However, the bill failed to move in the Ohio Senate and died at the end of 2018.
For the most part, the bill would revise sales tax issues for small businesses but it includes an amendment "to exempt from sales and use tax tampons and other feminine hygiene products associated with menstruation."
The tampon tax has been mischaracterized by some as a luxury tax. As of 2018, 36 states collect sales tax from necessary menstrual items, according to Weiss-Wolf’s organization Period Equity. Sales tax on these products vary and are based on the state’s tax code.
According to a legislative analysis, Ohio women pay $4 million a year in state taxes on feminine hygiene products. What’s more, the average woman will spend $11,000 in her lifetime on these items.
In a press conference last week, Antani told reporters that other hygiene items such as toothpaste are tax free and “the fact that feminine hygiene products are not, frankly, is discriminatory.”
"These are medically necessary products that women and families in our communities need, and we think this is a good common-sense step to making them more accessible," Kelly added.
A companion bill that also exempts tax on disposable baby diapers has been added by Kelly.