Could California Be Getting Rid Of The Tampon Tax?

A California lawmaker is trying again to repeal the California state’s sales tax on women’s menstrual products. This is not the first attempt, earlier this year California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed a similar bill.

Cristina Garcia (D) is an Assembly member who proposed two bills on Monday that would help to ease the financial burden that has been placed on women when purchasing menstrual products. Read more about Garcia and what she is lobbying for here. The first bill, AB 9, would make these products including tampons, pads, and other menstrual related products, exempt from sales tax. The second bill, AB 10, would actually make these incredibly necessary products available for free in private and public schools as well as colleges and shelters.

Garcia has been actively fighting this tax often referring to it as unjust, unfair, and basically sexist. She explains that every single month of a woman’s life for an average of 40 years, women are being taxed simply for being women. She goes on to claim that the sales tax on these products basically says that periods are a luxury for women while simultaneously being told it is something that should be hidden and women should be ashamed of it. She is pushing to not only make these products more affordable, but to make them free for women and young girls who financially struggle to afford these very necessary products.

Garcia sponsored a bill very similar to this in a past legislative session. The bill received unanimous support in both California chambers of legislature as well as a strong backing from the California tax board, however, when it got to Gov. Jerry Brown he vetoed the bill due to concerns of the budget.

According to an estimate from Garcia’s office, women in California are taxed roughly $20 million per year on these products. The previous budget concerns for California still exist, and a $20 million loss is massive in perspective. It would take some creative thinking to find a way to make up that money.

Meanwhile, the bill is gaining steam in other states like New York and Illinois. Some states have even gone so far as to eliminate the tax on feminine products already. Meanwhile, Garcia will continue to fight for what she deems fair. Currently, a complaint has been filed with the California Superior Court that argues that this tax violates the equal protection clause found in the 14th Amendment.