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Women Fight New York Tampon Tax
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Photo courtesy of The Guardian.

Summary: A group of woman are fighting New York’s Tampon Tax.

Resting amongst a long list of questionable laws, New York has what many dub “The Tampon Tax.” The law charges 4% sales tax on tampons and other feminine hygiene products, and a new class action lawsuit alleges that the “luxury” tax violates the Equal Protection Clauses of the state and federal Constitutions.


Five women filed a class action suit yesterday against The Department of Taxation and Finance and its commissioner Jerry Boone, CNN reports. They said it was unfair to tax tampons but not other “medical” items like Rogaine, dandruff shampoo, or adult diapers.

Margo Seibert, Jennifer Moore, Catherine O’Neil, Natalie Brasington, and Taja-Nia Henderson are the plaintiffs listed.

Plaintiff’s attorney Zoe Salzman told Gothamist that this is one of “many laws made by men for men.”

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“If men menstruated once a month, there is no way there would be a sales tax on these products,” Salzman said.

Joseph Henchman, a conservative policy expert for the Tax Foundation, argued that tampons are a reliable tax revenue during economic downturn because no matter what, women will need to buy tampons. Gothamist points out the irony of this–because women always need tampons it is in fact inhumane to tax those necessary items.

At least two New York congresswomen agree with the plaintiffs. Manhattan Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and Senator Sue Serino introduced legislation last month, asking that feminine hygiene products be exempt from sales state tax.

Julissa Ferreras wants to go even further and provide free tampons to teenagers. She has been leading legislation that would distribute free tampons in high school bathrooms. The law is still pending, although one Queens high school has had one free dispenser installed.

The State Tax department did not respond to Gothamist’s request for comment.

CNN reports that New York women pay $14 million in taxes on feminine hygiene products each year, according to the complaint.

Source: CNN

Source: Gothamist


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