Women across New York State could soon have a little more money in their wallets. The state’s Senate voted Wednesday to repeal sales tax on tampons and feminine hygiene products, and now the bill is headed to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk.
The bill passed by a 56-0 vote, and the state’s Assembly also passed it unanimously the month before. Cuomo has said he will sign the bill into law, effectively removing the 4 percent sales tax on the healthcare products.
“Moving this legislation forward is a win for consumers, and it’s a win for women, who have largely shouldered the burden of the tax for generations,” said Republican Sen. Sue Serino, who sponsored the bill, the Journal News reported.
Language in earlier versions of bills in the Senate and Assembly was changed to cover a broad range of products and to take future products into account. If Cuomo signs the bill in the next two months, it would go into effect Sept. 1. If enacted, the law will save women as much as 88 cents on the purchase of $11 worth of tampons, Syracuse.com reported.
“It was very important that the bill language was broad enough to envisage new menstrual products,” said Democrat Assembly member Linda Rosenthal. “If and when the day comes that a new and improved menstrual technology hits the market, this law, once it is signed, will provide us with flexibility so that we don’t have to go back in and amend the law to exempt each and every new product. That new product will simply be exempt.”
Feminine hygiene products will join the list of other products that are not taxed, including bandages and contraceptives. Campaigns to repeal sales tax on feminine hygiene products have spread across the U.S. and around the world. President Barack Obama was asked during an interview earlier this year by YouTube personality Ingrid Nilsen why tampons are taxed as luxury goods.
“I have to tell you, I have no idea why states would tax these as luxury items,” Obama said in response. “I suspect it’s because men were making the laws when those taxes were passed.”
New York is now set to join New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Minnesota on the list of states that do not charge sales tax on feminine hygiene products.