Legislation seeks to end 'tampon tax'

DOWNEY -- Assemblymember Cristina Garcia has introduced a measure that would make feminine hygiene products exempt from sales tax. 

Calling it a "tampon tax," Garcia says women are forced to pay more than $20 million annually in taxes on tampons and sanitary napkins, paying on average $7 per month for 40 years. 

Feminine hygiene products are a basic necessity and should be free instead of taxes, Garcia said. 

"Basically we are being taxed for being women," Garcia added. "This is a step in the right direction to fix this gender injustice. Women have no choice but to buy these products, so the economic effect is only felt by woman and women of color are particularly hard hit by this tax.

"You can't just ignore your period, it's not like you can just ignore the constant flow." 

California law already provides sales tax exemptions on certain health items, including walkers, medical identification tags, and prescription medication. 

"When we look at other items that are tax exempt, I think it is only fair that these essential female products be included," Garcia said. 

The proposed legislation is co-authored by Assemblymember Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar).