NEW DETAILS: Florida will eliminate taxes charged on tampons under a measure signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott. Ohio is considering a similar measure.
Scott on Thursday approved a bill that would make feminine hygiene products such as tampons and menstrual pads tax-exempt starting next January.
Florida is joining 13 other states and the District of Columbia that exempt taxes on the sale of feminine hygiene products or have enacted laws to exempt these products in the future.
EARLIER STORY FROM DECEMBER: Sales taxes on tampons and other feminine hygiene products should be dropped because these are essential healthcare items, according to two Democratic lawmakers.
State Reps. Greta Johnson of Akron and Brigid Kelly of Columbus said they are sponsoring a bill to end the “Pink Tax,” which costs Ohio women $4 million a year.
“A tampon is a medical necessity for Ohio women— not a luxury item,” said Johnson in a written release. “In a state where women are paid less for the same work as men, every cent counts. The “Pink Tax” takes unfairly more money out of the pockets of women and undermines the economic stability of working families.”
Note: Johnson has left the House since the original article was published.
A similar bill was introduced in June 2015 but did not become law.
The two Democrats estimate the average woman will spend $11,000 on tampons over the course of 30 to 40 years.
Twelve states, Canada and Australia do not tax feminine hygiene products. Last year, four Cleveland area women filed a class action lawsuit against Ohio Department of Taxation over the tax on tampons, pads and other products. They argue that the items are medically necessary. Ohio does not apply a sales tax to medicine.
A box of 32 tampons costs about $8. Ohio’s sales tax rate is 5.75 percent but Ohio Gov. John Kasich has proposed increasing it to 6.25 percent.
OTHER STATE NEWS