Every year, people who menstruate spend $20 million in taxes a year on menstrual hygiene products in the state of California alone. The state’s current Sales and Use Tax Law requires sales tax on all retail products. Meanwhile, items deemed as “necessities of life” (ex: food, medicine— including Viagra and Rogaine— and medical supplies) are all sold in California without sales tax.
Considering that most of the people who menstruate identify as women, the tax is the only gender-specific tax in the country.
According to California law, menstrual products are non-essential goods.
CREDIT: redboxlancaster / Instagram
Residents of California who have periods are taxed at 7.25%. The implication being menstrual hygiene is a luxury. With 14.3% of Californians living in poverty, there’s no doubting how much pressure the tampon tax can impose on those who have periods while lacking adequate income.
A new petition to put an end to California’s tampon tax needs 100,000 signatures in 30 days.
CREDIT: periodstigma / Instagram
The campaign was recently created by PERIOD. The Menstrual Movement, a youth-run NGO in women’s health, and acts as a call to the governor of California, Jerry Brown, to repeal the Tampon Tax. The organization hopes to end tampon taxes that exist in 36 of the states across the U.S. but is starting in California because it has the country’s highest poverty rate and sales tax percentage.
Sign the petition here!