Women Are Fighting Back Against "Tampon Tax"
NY women reportedly pay $14-million dollars in taxes on feminine hygiene products each year.
But the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance claims feminine hygiene products are subject to the tax because they are 'used to control a normal bodily function and to maintain personal cleanliness'. Rogaine, condoms and foot powder are exempt from the standard 4% sales tax. The lawsuit was filed against the State Department of Taxation and Finance. There's no question that menstruation products are medically necessary - which should make them exempt from sales tax, per most states' tax laws. "Getting rid of taxes on these products is an important first step toward making them affordable for all", the newspaper said. "They buy in small packages and thus they are taxed more", she argues.
Government assistance programs don't provide aid to help poor women buy these items and are therefore often times forced to use whatever they can find - like old rags - out of desperation.
Last month, The New York Times published a piece by its editorial board calling for the end of the discriminatory tax, while in a recent Daily Show segment on what female voters are drawn to in this election, correspondent Jessica Williams declared, "No tax on tampons, how about that?"
A spokeswoman for Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he believes the tax should be repealed and will work to eliminate it.
Five women filed a lawsuit against the state on Thursday to end the tax altogether. And now genuine progress could be on the horizon in NY after State Assembly Democrat Linda Rosenthal introduced a bill last month in the hope of eliminating the tax.
With the rise of the "tampon tax", all these negative connotations have resurfaced and have brought to the forefront issues like taxes, inequality, and sexism. Protests have been held in Australia, Paris, and Britain, and the tampon tax has become a women's rights initiative.