“Tampon tax” cut earns big bump

Photo credit: 401kcalculator.org

Photo credit: 401kcalculator.org

The state’s Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate unanimously voted to support a bipartisan bill cutting sales tax on menstrual hygiene products — like tampons and sanitary napkins — giving the effort a big boost.

The bill’s primary author, Assemblywoman Christina Garcia, has railed against taxing menstrual hygiene products as discriminatory, especially to low-income women. The Bell Gardens Democrat says removing the “tampon tax” would benefit underprivileged women who may not be able to consistently afford the products.

Detractors argue against carving out special exemptions, proposing instead to redirect the tax revenue to fund assistance programs to help those in need. But a Garcia spokeswoman on Tuesday told CalWatchdog a similar attempt to redirect “tampon tax” revenue to women’s charities backfired against a British conservative lawmaker and said this was just the first step in making these products more affordable.

“Our tax code needs to reflect the fact that we don’t live in a time where we should be taxing women for being born women,” said spokeswoman Elena Lee. “Changing where the money goes from the tax does not change the fact that the tax on tampons and pads is outdated.”

Conservatives Like Tax Cuts

The Board of Equalization, which supports the measure 4-0, projects the lost revenue if the bill passes to be around $20 million annually (less than $0.01 per woman per day). According to the bill’s coauthor, Asm. Ling Ling Chang, any tax cut is a victory for fiscal conservatives.

The Brea Republican, who is currently running for a state Senate, agrees with the bill on principle too, citing a loophole allowing a sales-tax exemption on candy as an example of an unfair tax code.

“Candy, frankly, is a choice,” Chang told CalWatchdog. “This is not a choice. This is a public health issue.”

Is There Really a Tax on Tampons?

Catherine Rampell, a Washington Post columnist, on Monday wrote the term “tampon tax” is “misleading,” as there’s not specific tax on menstrual hygiene products. Rampell argued against the carve out, adding she’s “skeptical of the idea that government is obligated to address every difference in every demographic group’s consumption bundle.”

“Maybe it seems unfair that in so many states Twizzlers don’t get taxed while tampons do,” Rampell wrote. “But the solution isn’t to dole out yet more tax breaks but to end the ones we have and direct more public funds to people who actually need assistance.”

The bill has a bipartisan group of 20 coauthors, including Speaker-elect Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount. That, plus Tuesday’s vote and favorable politics give the bill great momentum.

“Opposing the taxation of these items is a way to be both pro-feminist and anti-tax,” said John J. Pitney, Jr., a Roy P. Crocker professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College. “And since the amount of forgone revenue is extremely small, the issue is a political winner, period.”

10 comments

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  1. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 27 January, 2016, 11:50

    Teddy will be doing cartwheels when he reads this!

    Reply this comment
  2. bob
    bob 27 January, 2016, 13:43

    How will these politicians make up the lost revenue?

    How about a douche bag tax applied to politicians?

    Reply this comment
  3. desmond
    desmond 28 January, 2016, 04:50

    The tax should go away. Also, toilet paper should be banned, contributor to pollution and climate change.
    Ban the tampon tax and stop wiping. We need to get back to the way humans are supposed to smell. There is nothing like the smell of an unwiped posterior to announce I am here for dinner. “That smells good.”

    Reply this comment
  4. Bill the Big G.
    Bill the Big G. 28 January, 2016, 08:02

    HA! So progtards finally wake up to the REGRESSIVE truth of the sales tax. Sales taxes HURT THE POOR and are not even noticed by the rich. Here’s an idea:GET RID OF THE SALES TAX. Guess what, up here in beautiful green Oregon, which is MUCH MORE PROGRESSIVE THAN VILE CALIFORNIA, WE HAVE NO SALES TAX!! NADA, ZIP, ZERO. And government hasn’t collapsed, life does indeed go on, as they say…..

    Reply this comment
  5. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 28 January, 2016, 08:02

    Tax your Guns,Tax your ammo,tax your Big Mac,Tax your whopper,tax your soda,tax your gasoline,tax your thinking thats what stupid dumb-o-crats like to do

    Reply this comment
  6. Ghettoman
    Ghettoman 21 January, 2017, 18:09

    God help us! This state is gone nuts! What is next, tax on taxes? These hispanic Dem idiots wont stop until they have us wiping poor peoples asses with our own shirts. No wonder we are a laugh to the rest of the country. How about no tax on pink paint so the LGBT nuts wont feel left out!

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