Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a new law that prohibits local and state sales taxes on feminine hygiene products.
The bill (A.7555-a/S.7838) was sponsored by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal and Sen. Sue Serino. The sponsors argued that New York state already exempts drugs and medicine, medical equipment and certain medical supplies from sales taxes and therefore feminine hygiene products, such as tampons, sanitary napkins and panty liners should also be exempt.
“This is a regressive tax on essential products that women have had to pay for far too long and lifting it is a matter of social and economic justice,” Cuomo said. “I commend Assemblywoman Rosenthal and Senator Serino on their strong advocacy and for hard work in passing this important legislation.”
Tampons, maxi-pads and other feminine hygiene products have been under the tax code since state sale tax was introduced in 1965.
“With the signing of this bill today, we are taking a monumental step forward in reforming our out-of-touch tax laws and we are sending a strong message to New York’s women that they are being heard,” said Serino, R-Hyde Park. “This day is long overdue and I commend Governor Cuomo, as well as my colleagues in the Senate, for helping to finally make this tax a thing of the past. It is my hope that we can continue down the path of applying commonsense to our tax laws as we work to make our state more affordable for all New Yorkers.”
New York is one of the first states to join the movement to exempt feminine hygiene products from sales taxes. This measure is expected to save women purchasing tampons, and other similar products, an estimated $10 million a year.
“The signing of this bill into law represents a new dawn. Women statewide will no longer be burdened by a lingering tax that was levied at a time when women were not part of government and the decision-making process,” said Rosenthal, D-Upper West Side. “The tampon tax is regressive, and lifting it will spare all women the extra monthly burden of paying taxes on products that are already unaffordable to many.”
Originally published on July 26, 2016 in The Legislative Gazette.