For Immediate Release: August 23, 2016
Contact: Chris Wangsaporn: (626) 840-5403
Bill to End Tampon Tax Sent to Governor’s Desk
California May Now Join other States and Scrap the Unjust Tax on Women
SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) announced today that her legislation jointly sponsored with Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) to end the sales tax on tampons was approved by both houses of the Legislature and sent to the governor for approval. While the state exempts the sales tax on various health products, tampons and sanitary napkins are the only health necessities exclusive to women that are still taxed. AB 1561 would end this tax on women.
“As a taxpayer advocate I can appreciate this bill simply on economic grounds,” said Assemblywoman Chang. “Any opportunity to give tax relief to the people of California is something I will be interested in. But as a woman I also know this tax is something we need to repeal on principle. Women should not be unfairly targeted in our tax code.”
Current law grants a sales and use tax exemption for products that are deemed “necessities of life” like food products — including candy — and other health items such as Viagra®. In other words, any item not on this list is deemed unnecessary or a luxury for consumers. Unfortunately, feminine hygiene products – necessary health products that cost women thousands of dollars over a lifetime – are not exempt from the state sales tax, and therefore deemed nonessential. As a result, California’s tax laws unfairly target women.
“Collectively we pay $20 million in taxes on feminine hygiene products. By putting that money back in the hands of women, we are creating greater access to a very important health product – especially in low-income and homeless populations.”
At least fifteen states have introduced legislation to repeal the tax on feminine hygiene products. The Republican governor of Illinois recently approved a tampon tax repeal as has New York and Connecticut.
“It’s great to see both Democrats and Republicans coming together on this important effort all across the country,” added Chang.