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Illinois May Become the 6th State to Get Rid of ‘Tampon Tax’

A Senate committee advanced a bill that would eliminate the tax.

Photo by Flickr user Aaron Fulkerson

In an effort to reverse the effects of rampant institutional sexism that have robbed women of their dignity and agency for hundreds of years, people around the United States are rallying against the much-maligned “tampon tax,” a tax on period-management products, which are legally classified as “luxury goods.” Earlier this year, California legislators introduced a bill that would eliminate the tax. Just this month, five women in New York filed a lawsuit against the Department of Taxation and Finance for its imposition of the tax. And now Illinois is vying to become the sixth state that’s free of the tampon tax.


The state’s Senate Revenue Committee advanced a bill, sponsored by Democrat Melinda Bush, that would make menstruation-management products exempt from the luxury goods tax. “These are necessities, they’re not luxury items. And they shouldn’t be taxed like luxury items,” Senator Bush told the local ABC news affiliate. “It’s a wrong place to make revenue. It’s a wrong place.”

There are only five states in the country that have nixed their tampon taxes—Pennsylvania, Minnesota, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Maryland. Legislative efforts in other parts of the country, including Utah, have been shut down. President Obama, in an interview with YouTube star Ingrid Nilsen last year, earnestly suggested that the tampon tax exists because men have, historically, dominated both the federal and state governments—and our male legislators have time and time again demonstrated a very poor understanding of female anatomy.