What is the Period Tax?
Menstruation is a natural part of life for everyone with a vagina, and with that so is purchasing tampons, pads and other hygiene products to manage it. It’s inevitable, not a choice and something that half of the world’s population must deal with. Yet in many states, menstrual products are still considered a “luxury” item and not a necessity, allowing them to add additional sales tax to them. Some people may think this is insignificant, but according to a study done by The Huffington Post the average woman will spend $2,216 on feminine hygiene products in her lifetime. Depending on the individual’s state that’s somewhere between $100- $250 dollars spent on menstrual product taxes alone. Multiply that by each menstruating woman in each state with a tampon tax and you can see how quickly this adds up.
These added costs are even worse for low-income, incarcerated or homeless women who often can’t afford to purchase menstrual products. This isn’t only harmful to these women’s health and hygiene but also their dignity. Unfortunately, the majority of lawmakers are non-menstruating men and are unable to understand the necessity of feminine care. Recently, there has been more discussion and advocacy to fight to end this unnecessary luxury tax on tampons and other menstrual products and prove that it’s discriminatory against women who menstruate. So far, ten US states have eliminated the period tax: Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Nevada. DC and the city of Denver, CO do not charge a tax on menstrual products either. Access to menstrual products should be seen as the human right that it is, not a luxury. We believe that all humans with vaginas deserve menstrual care.