A 10th State Just Eliminated The Tampon Tax

photographed by Tayler Smith.
On Election Day, Nevada residents had the option to remove the 6.85% sales tax on menstrual products, aka the "tampon tax." About 56.7% of voters elected to repeal the tax, making Nevada the 10th state to eliminate the sales tax.
Now, the states without a tampon tax are Nevada, Florida, Illinois, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota, according to the Tax Foundation. The District of Columbia has a tax exemption for menstrual products, and five states (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon) don't have sales tax altogether.
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As we've said before, tampons and pads are not "luxury" items, they're a medical necessity for people who menstruate. By taxing menstrual products in this way, it makes it even more difficult for low-income populations to have access to the medical products that they need each month.
Proponents for this measure argued that menstrual products should be treated like other tax-exempt medical products, to be consistent with the Food and Drug Administration's classification of tampons as a type of medical device.
"There is no equivalent medical product that is used only by one sex on a monthly basis for decades," they wrote in the official argument. "Nevada voters should eliminate these discriminatory sales and use taxes to lower the cost of feminine hygiene products, increase access to these necessities and improve women’s health and welfare." Those against the measure argued that the state and local governments would lose millions of dollars as a result.
This change won't take effect until January 1, 2019 in Nevada, according to the measure. But ultimately, this was a win for the approximately 867,000 menstruating people who currently live in the state. Hopefully it will set precedence for the other states that have yet to get rid of this discriminatory tax.
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