California may soon become the sixth state to banish the “tampon tax,” the controversial tax added to feminine hygiene products like tampons and pads.
Legislators Cristina Garcia (D) and Ling Ling Chang (R) proposed the bill earlier this week, calling the practice of taxing feminine hygiene goods “unjust.”
In a statement, Garcia said,
Basically, we are being taxed for being women. This is a step in the right direction to fix this gender injustice. Women have no choice but to buy these products, so the economic effect is only felt by women, and women of color are hit particularly hard by this tax.
According to Garcia, women in California spend $20 million in taxes on tampons and pads every year. The high cost, she explained,
... 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. If we can't make them free, we should at least make them affordable.
If the bill passes, California will join Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey and Pennsylvania as the only states to eliminate the tampon tax. Other tax-exempt products in the state include prescription medication — another medical necessity — and farm equipment.