Feminine hygiene products may be excluded from Ohio sales tax

Women shouldn’t have to pay sales taxes on tampons and other feminine products, according to some state lawmakers who are sponsoring a bill to exempt products from sales taxes.

Democratic State Reps. Greta Johnson and Emilia Sykes of Akron and Kevin Boyce of Columbus are sponsoring the bill.

“Feminine care products are not a luxury. They are a health care necessity. Lack of proper hygiene has a medical cost,” said Johnson. Elimination of the tax “helps level the economic playing field for women in Ohio and brings us up to par with our neighboring state of Pennsylvania as well as New Jersey, Maine, Maryland and Minnesota as well as the nations of Canada and Australia.”

Johnson said making tampons and pads tax free is a tangible way to help women. The trio of Democrats also talked about the tax in the context of economic issues including female headed households and a gender pay gap.

Johnson said women spend 6 to 10 dollars a month of taxable money on feminine care products. “It may not seem like much but over a lifetime of 2,375 days on their period, the costs add up,” Johnson said. Feminine products and birth control, which is a common way to regulate problem periods, can cost women hundreds to thousands of dollars in taxes over their menstruating lifetime, she said.

Brand name tampons cost 12 to 25 cents each, depending on number per pack, at drug stores and major retailers stores. Females menstruate from puberty to menopause, on average from age 12 to 51.

Johnson said no Republican lawmakers have signed on as bill co-sponsors.

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