No more tampon tax in Florida? Way to go Sunshine State!
Tampons in Florida are about to get cheaper — 6% cheaper to be exact!
Why? Well, the governor of Florida just signed a package of tax cuts into law, and one of the changes to the state tax code is eliminating sales taxes on tampons, pads, menstrual cups and other menstrual supplies.
You see, a lot of states exempt certain necessities like food and medicine from sales taxes — that extra few percentage points added at the register when you buy products. For some reason, menstrual supplies got left off the list of necessities in a lot of these states. Maybe because the people writing the tax code were mostly of the variety of people who never had periods? A solid guess, but we can’t say for sure.
Anyway, for the past few years, people who menstruate have started agitating to get supplies for taking care of periods designated as tax-exempt because HELLO! Periods happen! The blood has to go somewhere. For most people, that “somewhere” is a maxi-pad, tampon, or menstrual cup. That means paying for those supplies every time your period comes. One estimate suggests that menstruating consumers pay about $7 per month for menstrual supplies. Every month. For about 40 years. That’s $3,360 for tampons and stuff over a lifetime. Taking 6% off that — as in the case of the Florida sales tax — would be a savings of $201 per period-having-human!
And let me reiterate that this isn’t a choice. Periods are a naturally occurring bodily function. They just happen and ya gotta deal with it. Every single time.
Florida joins 13 other states and the District of Columbia in making menstrual supplies non-taxable. This has been a bipartisan issue, probably because members of both parties are better educated about the realities of menstruation than previous generations were.
Other states will likely follow suit over the next few years, but don’t look for federal legislation making menstrual supplies tax-free. Sales taxes are a state issue, so our friends in D.C. can’t help us on this one.