Women would no longer be required to pay state sales taxes on menstrual products, under a bill being reintroduced at the Capitol this fall.
State Representative Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) says the so-called “tampon tax” puts an unfair burden on women, who don’t get to choose how their body works. “This is an example of a sex-based tax,” the Madison Democrat says. “I can’t think of any other example of anything in our society where one sex is taxed for something that is vital.”
Those buying tampons, sanitary napkins, and similar products currently pay a five percent sales and use tax in the state, even though Sargent contends they are essential items, not a luxury. “Quite frankly it’s time for our laws to reflect that fact,” she argues.
Sargent is also introducing companion legislation that would require state-operated buildings to provide free tampons and pads in restrooms, which she compares to supplying toilet paper and soap.
Sargent introduced similar legislation last session, which failed to pass.