New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Thursday signed a bill that eliminates local and State sales tax on feminine hygiene products. The bill removes the four percent sales tax on tampons and other feminine hygiene products.
“This is a regressive tax on essential products that women have had to pay for far too long and lifting it is a matter of social and economic justice,” Cuomo said in a statement.
He also congratulated Assemblywoman Linda B Rosenthal and Sen. Sue Serino for their “strong advocacy and hard work in passing this important legislation.”
In May, the state’s senate voted to repeal the tax and the bill passed by an overwhelming 56-0 vote.
Feminine hygiene products have been taxable since the state sales tax was first instituted in 1965. Over time, a variety of other goods like dietary products, bandages and contraceptives have been exempt. The tax exemption on feminine hygiene products is expected to save women an estimated $10 million a year.
Sen. Sue Serino, one of the bill’s key sponsors, said, “With the signing of this bill today, we are taking a monumental step forward in reforming our out-of-touch tax laws and we are sending a strong message to New York’s women that they are being heard.”
Assemblymember Rosenthal another key sponsor took to twitter to express her happiness in the bill finally turning into law.
In June, New York City’s lawmakers backed a proposal that would make feminine hygiene health products available free of charge for approximately 300,000 girls in schools and 23,000 women in homeless shelters. If New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is in agreement with this proposal, New York would be the first city in the U.S. to provide free menstrual hygiene products for women in public schools, homeless shelters and prisons in the city.