Ohio Moves Closer To Ending Tax On Pads, Tampons

Ohio has moved closer to removing sales tax on every pads and tampons in the state. House lawmakers passed a new bill in the past week supporting access to cheaper menstrual products. 

The proposed policy is part of a larger bill that would provide tax credits for teachers buying school supplies out-of-pocket. However, it has yet to secure approval from the state’s Senate and the signature of Republican Gov. Mike DeWine.

The same proposal was introduced by the House in December 2018. But Senate lawmakers voted against the bill, CNN reported Tuesday

If the higher chamber passes the new bill, Ohio will become the 16th state to remove sales tax on menstrual products. The other states are Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Nevada and Pennsylvania.

Alaska, Delaware, Oregon, Montana and New Hampshire also do not tax tampons. But these states are different than others since they don’t have general sales tax.

Critics said sales tax on menstrual products is unfair. It directly affects people with low income

Women, young girls and transsexual men don’t have a choice to not purchase menstrual products. An expert said prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications are purchased without sales tax, and menstrual products should get the same treatment.

"This goes beyond the dollar amount. This is institutional and systematic sexism," Dasha Burns, a writer and strategist, said in an opinion piece posted on CNN. 

The Purpose Of Tax On Pads And Tampons

California removed sales tax on menstrual products and diapers earlier in 2019. But the state government said it would only last for two years.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom explained that he limited the period of the tax exemption since California might face funding issues after 2021.

"We hope to extend it, but we hope to be in a fiscal position to do so and we want to maintain our prudence," he said. "We want to maintain a balanced structural budget."

Nevada previously estimated that menstrual products could generate between $72.8 million and $104 million each fiscal year. But removing sales tax could cut $4.96 million to $7.11 million in tax revenue per year.

Women's Tampon Paris city councillor and member of the French left-wing Parti de Gauche (PG) Danielle Simonnet shows a menstrual tampon during a meeting to mark the International Women's Day in Bobigny near Paris. Myths about menstruation distinguished from period facts. Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images