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Texas eliminates 'tampon tax' on menstrual products

Texas eliminates 'tampon tax' on menstrual products

The law came into effect on Friday

Texas has eliminated its 'tampon tax' on menstrual products.

The brand-new tax exemption for feminine hygiene products in Texas became effective on Friday (1 September) making the state the 25th to see residents no longer pay state sales tax on menstrual products.

While the official legislation was first finalized months back in June, efforts to get rid of the 'tampon' or 'pink tax' began last year with several state lawmakers publicly voicing their support for the proposal.

Texas has eliminated its 'tampon tax' on menstrual products.
Royalty-free / Getty Images

"Every woman knows that these products are not optional," Texas Senate Committee on Finance chairwoman Joan Huffman said in a statement last year. "They are essential to our health and well-being and should be tax exempt."

It is also important to note that the new change will not only benefit women but anyone who menstruates including non-binary people and trans men.

The 'tampon tax' is a popular term used to call attention to tampons, and other feminine hygiene products, being subject to value-added tax (VAT) or sales tax.

Such products differ from the tax exemption status granted to other products considered basic necessities.

Tampons are taxed by certain states as luxury goods, even though they are quite literally necessities.

So, until Friday, menstrual products were considered luxury items in Texas but now, under the new legislation, an array of items will be exempt from the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax rate.

Products include; tampons and sanitary napkins, menstrual sponges and menstrual pads and any items similar to both 'for the principal purpose of feminine hygiene in connection with the menstrual cycle or postpartum care'.

It is the 25th state to see residents no longer pay state sales tax on menstrual products.
Royalty-free / Getty Images

According to the Alliance for Period Supplies, 'two in five people' struggle to purchase period supplies due to lack of income.

"This is called period poverty, and chances are we each know someone who has experienced this need - a neighbor, a co-worker, a friend," the organization explains.

The site goes on to inform: "For 1 in 3 low-income women, this means missing work, school, and outings because of a lack of period supplies."

"Too often period products are taxed as luxury items and not recognized as basic necessities," it adds. "Period products are taxed at a similar rate to items like decor, electronics, makeup, and toys."

The new legislation comes after Texas continues to enforce several strict abortion laws.

Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, millions of people have lost access to safe abortions after the state made performing such procedures a second-degree felony, punishable by up to life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

The court ruled in favor of the state in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organisation case, in which the state of Mississippi argued for a new law that would ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, overturning the 49-year-old Roe v. Wade ruling.

Featured Image Credit: STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images/Wiki Commons

Topics: US News, Texas, Health, Money