What’s all the fuss about tax free periods?
Did you know that there are only a handful of states in the U.S. that don’t put taxes on menstrual hygiene products? In 70% of the states across the country, women are charged a sales tax when they purchase feminine hygiene products. There’s already a physical burden that comes with a woman being on her period every month, but add to that the financial burden it must add to her; especially for low income women that often have to decide between a meal or having enough pads to get them through their next period. Feminine hygiene products are a necessity, not a luxury.
According to one of the tenets of the United States tax system, items that are considered necessary for life are afforded a tax exemption. Every state has a list of items that deem “neccessary”, and those lists include items like lip balm, shampoo, condoms, etc. 33 out of 50 states in the U.S. don’t consider menstrual products as a necessity. That’s a huge problem and it’s essentially a discriminatory act against women. We all know that feminine hygiene products are a necessity for the biological and natural functions of a woman’s body.
Do you think your state is included on the list of U.S. states that currently exempt period products from being taxed?
As of June 2019, the states around the country that don’t tax include: Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, California, Connecticut, Nevada and Rhode Island. Fortunately, with platforms like Period Equity [Tax Free Period], they aim to go around the country educating everyone and holding politicians accountable for the change that they can make in their states. They want to make sure that every woman in every state can have a tax free period.
Period Equity is the nation’s first law and policy organization fighting for menstrual equity for all women. They are “committed to ensuring that menstrual products are affordable, safe and available to those in need.” Menstrual equity has been deemed as affordability, accessibility and safety of menstrual products-- making sure that people have the needs, support and choices to decide to decide how they want to take care of their menstrual health. On average, women are spending more than $275 million a year on state taxes on their period products!
Although, not all women across the country have been afforded tax free periods just yet, it’s important to remember those that are helping women daily by not adding more to an already hard time for women. Here, at Jewel Sanitary Napkins, our products are tax free! Our hope is that you will continue to spread the word and stand up for women for what we know is a basic necessity for them every month.
Period products are not a luxury, they are a necessity.
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