D.C. Considering Repeal of the Tampon Tax

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The Council of the District of Columbia’s Finance and Revenue Committee held hearings earlier this week on B21-696, the “Feminine Hygiene and Diapers Sales Tax Exemption Amendment Act of 2016.” Students in the Legislation Clinic at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law were among those testifying on behalf of the proposed legislation.

Here’s an excerpt from the Washington Post’s coverage:

Advocates for women urged the D.C. Council to lift the sales tax on diapers, tampons and pads at the first public hearing Wednesday for legislation that is being promoted across the country.

“What, how and who we tax speaks volumes about what we value as a community and a city,” said Corinne Cannon of the D.C. Diaper Bank, adding that the savings in sales tax could allow families to buy an additional dozen diapers a month.

District residents currently don’t pay sales taxes on groceries and medically necessary drugs — including Viagra.

Some advocates said taxes on feminine hygiene products were like a tax for being a woman, and argued that jurisdictions should not classify them as “luxury goods.”
At the hearing before the council’s finance and revenue committee, about a half-dozen women testified in favor of suspending the taxes. The committee’s chair, Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), said he supported the legislation.

Maryland doesn’t tax tampons and diapers; Virginia does. A bill that would eliminate the taxes on feminine hygiene products failed in Virginia this year.

The full WaPo article is here.

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