Senate Passes Bill Eliminating Sales Taxes on Feminine Hygiene Products

Joseph E. Robach

April 13, 2016

The New York State Senate today passed legislation that would exempt several basic and necessary women’s items from being unfairly taxed. The bill (S6726), sponsored by Senator Susan Serino (R-C-I, Hyde Park), would exempt feminine hygiene products such as tampons and sanitary products from the New York’s sales and compensating use tax.

“I am always happy to look for ways to reduce the tax burden for residents in New York State, but additionally, this care product should never have been taxed in the first place," said Robach. 

Currently, medicine, medical equipment, supplies to correct or alleviate physical incapacity, and products consumed by humans for the preservation of health are included in the list of items exempt from the sales and use tax. However cosmetics and toiletry items are explicitly excluded from the list unless they contain medicinal ingredients. Feminine hygiene products are among those items considered taxable under state law, despite being a necessity for women.

This bill would add sanitary napkins and tampons to the items exempt from retail taxes to make the existing law fairer, especially for women. Several states, including Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have already passed similar legislation to end the so-called “Tampon Tax” and exempt feminine hygiene products from their sales tax.

The bill will be sent to the Assembly.