District of Columbia Repeals Its Tampon Tax; Is Texas Next?

The District of Columbia is slated to end its tampons on feminine hygiene products, as well as diapers, in October, 2017:

The nation’s capital is joining the movement to lift the sales taxes on diapers, tampons and other feminine hygiene products.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said Wednesday she’ll sign legislation that supporters say ends a 5.75 percent tax that hurts women and hits working families the hardest.

But before it takes effect, the District needs to find more than $3 million a year to make up for the lost tax revenue in its $13 billion annual budget.

The next budget takes effect October 2017, meaning consumers must spend at least another year of paying taxes on diapers — both for babies and incontinent adults — and menstrual products.

Read the full WaPo story here. Legislation Clinic students from the University of the District of Columbia Law School represented a client in advocating for repeal. See our prior coverage here.

It looks like the Texas legislature may take up the question, too, according to the Dallas Morning News:

The average woman spends 2,280 days — more than six years — of her life on her period. If she spends $7 a month on hygiene products (excluding medication and birth control) for 40 years, she’ll have shelled out more than $3,000 … plus tax.

Not anymore, five Democratic lawmakers hope. They’ve proposed doing away with taxes on “tampons, panty liners, sanitary napkins and other similar tangible personal property” for at least a limited time. * * *

The tampon tax bills in other states are often proposed by female lawmakers. In Texas, Rep. Ryan Guillen of Rio Grande City and Sen. Jose Rodriguez of El Paso join Reps. Carol Alvarado of Houston, Donna Howard of Austin and Sen. Sylvia Garcia of Houston in proposing a halt to the taxes.

Note the reference to repeal “at least for a limited time.” This Texas legislation (SB 129, SB 162, HB 55, HB 219, HB 232) will be worth watching.

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