All-male Utah panel votes to keep sales tax on tampons
A Utah committee of all-male lawmakers has voted to keep the sales tax on tampons and other feminine hygiene products despite an international push to remove it.
“Governments that make money off the products penalize women for their biology, some say. That perspective has picked up momentum, with at least five U.S. states dumping the taxes.
Pennsylvania and Minnesota are among states that have eliminated the taxes. A handful of other states, including California, have seen similar proposals before their legislatures this year. In Wisconsin, a Democratic lawmaker has proposed providing free tampons in all public buildings.
President Barack Obama said in an interview with a YouTube blogger last month that he had no idea why feminine hygiene products were taxed.
Overseas, Canada removed taxes on the items last year, and British leaders, who have set the tax at the lowest possible level, have considered doing away with it altogether.
Feminine hygiene products should not be considered luxuries but necessities like prescription drugs or food, which most U.S. states do not tax, said Stephanie Pitcher with the Utah Women’s Coalition. “Having a period is not a choice for women,” she said.”
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