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Lawmaker Renews Push To Eliminate Tampon Tax

by | Feb 15, 2016 3:00pm
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Posted to: State Budget, Taxes, Manchester, New Haven

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A Connecticut lawmaker has renewed her mission to get rid of what she believes is a “discriminatory” tax on more than 1 million Connecticut women.

Rep. Kelly Luxenberg, D-Manchester, said she reintroduced a bill to exempt feminine products from the state sales tax.

There are only a handful of states that exempt these “necessary” products from taxes, Luxenberg said.

Five states — Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusetts — have created tax exemptions for tampons. Five other states have no sales taxes, which brings the total number of states where women can buy them without a tax up to 10.

According to TrackBill there are bills to eliminate the tax on tampons and sanitary pads pending in California, Ohio, New York, Utah, Washington, Michigan, and Virginia. 

“Why should we be taxed on our biology?” Luxenberg, who introduced a similar bill last year, said.

This year, Luxenberg has some help. Rep. Juan Candelaria, D-New Haven, has also introduced legislation to exempt tampons and sanitary pads from Connecticut’s 6.35 percent sales tax.

“It’s gender injustice,” Candelaria said. “Why are we penalizing women for having a menstrual cycle?”

Candelaria said he wants the General Assembly to have the discussion.

Last month, President Barack Obama was asked about the so-called tampon tax by YouTube personality Ingrid Nilsen.

“I have to tell you, I have no idea why states would tax these as luxury items,” Obama said in January. “I suspect it’s because men were making the laws when those taxes were passed.”

He added that women should “work to get those taxes removed.”

Medical supplies, including adult diapers, and other necessities already are exempt from Connecticut’s sales tax.

The two bills, both Luxenberg’s and Candelaria’s, were referred to the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee. It’s unclear yet if they will get a public hearing.

The tax on tampons and sanitary pads brings in about $3.6 million a year and the state is facing a nearly $570 million budget deficit.

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