Progress is finally being made to make the purchase of necessary feminine hygiene products more affordable, and it’s being made in the city of Chicago.
According to NBC News, the Chicago City Council decided to cancel the city’s sales tax placed on tampons and sanitary napkins (a.k.a., the tampon tax) during a vote on Wednesday, which the Council’s finance committee did not oppose to.
Currently, the items are taxed at 10.25 percent in Chicago, and the decision to repeal that tax will remove Chicago’s portion of it, which is 1.25 percent. While the city is one of the first to step up and do something about the fee, classifying feminine hygiene products as a medical necessity, according to NBC News, at least seven states are currently reviewing legislation. And the state of Illinois as a whole is actually in the process of advancing a proposal to keep consumers of such products, as well as those who use incontinence goods, from having to pay a state sales tax.
And while other states might be dragging their feet, more and more people are speaking out about unfair taxes, including five women in New York who filed a lawsuit recently, stating that the tax on feminine hygiene products is unconstitutional. They said that despite tampons and pads being taxed as general retail merchandise or some form of a luxury item, they’re “a necessity for women’s health.”
According to CNN, their complaint reads as such:
“There can be only one explanation for the Department’s decision to tax tampons and pads but not Rogaine, dandruff shampoo, foot powder, chapstick, and so many other less medically necessary products also used by men…[these products] are used by women only.”
We’ll see how that lawsuit plays out.
But kudos to Chi-town for stepping up for women who are not okay with being taxed for some simple Playtex and Always pads every month, and, on a side note, for raising the smoking age to 21 during that same Council meeting. #AintNobodyGotTimeorMoneyorLungsForAllThat