Does Your State Still Have A Tampon Tax? Here’s How To Fight It

PHotographed by MEgan Madden.
Were you aware that 33 of our 50 United States don't consider menstrual products necessities? What does that mean exactly? Well, it's not great. It means that in 33 states, tampons, pads, pantyliners, and menstrual cups are considered luxury items — insert eye roll here — and therefore, consumers are required to pay a tax when they purchase them. Clearly, whoever decided to categorize these products as non-essential never bled through a brand new pair of white jeans or missed a middle school math test because they woke up in a pool of menstrual blood. They also probably never had to choose between eating a decent meal or buying a box of pads to get them through their period that month. LOLA and Period Equity are on a mission to change this injustice, and they need us to help.
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Starting on Wednesday, November 20, people across the country can join in a nationwide Tampon Tax Protest, a collective action that is the first step in initiating lawsuits against the 33 states that don't consider tampons and pads necessities. The protest will include individual tampon purchasers filing tax refund claims, either online or via the mobile Lola's Tampon Tax Protest Truck. Here are a few ways to participate and help abolish the period tax once and for all.

Join The Tampon Tax Protest Online

Through the power of technology — thank you, internet goddesses — period-havers can participate in the country-wide protest simply by visiting Taxfreeperiod.com/protest and following a few simple steps. First, buy a box of tampons, pads, or liners, and make sure you keep your receipt. Then, complete a claim for refund contesting the sales tax on your receipt as unconstitutional. Purchaser forms are available to download and print on taxfreeperiod.com. Once you've filled out the form, the last step is to mail it in along with your receipt to your state's department of revenue as an act of protest.

Join The Tampon Tax Protest IRL

Throughout the next week, LOLA and Period Equity will be hosting five Tampon Tax Protest events. The first event will be in Austin on November 20. It will then move on to New Orleans on November 22, to Nashville on November 24, and Atlanta on November 26. The final event will be held in Greenville, SC on November 27.
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Participants are invited to bring a tampon or pad receipt (or get one on-site from LOLA) and fill out a Claim for Refund contesting the sales tax on your receipt. They'll have everything you need, including the address to your department of revenue and a pre-stamped envelope. After you've done that, you can rally your community with a photo from their protest installation. The whole thing will only take about 20 minutes.

Contact Your State Representatives

Even after participating in LOLA and Period Equity's nationwide Tampon Tax Protest, anyone who has a period — and those who don't! — can continue to work toward abolishing the tampon tax by contacting their state representatives about the unfairness of the tax. The contact information for every U.S. Representative can be found in the aptly named Directory of Representatives, and U.S. Senator's information is located in the Senate's Index. Some senators also have direct email addresses that can be easily found on their websites.
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