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Nevada, Ohio voters eliminate the 'tampon tax'

Advocates say it's a big win for women and transgender men.
Tampons, pads and other menstrual products are subject to states' sales tax. Some say that's unfair.Shutterstock / gennady
/ Source: TODAY

Is the "pink tax" becoming a thing of the past?

In November, Nevada became the 10th state to scrap the "tampon tax," the statewide sales tax on tampons and sanitary napkins. On Wednesday, the Ohio House of Representatives followed their lead and passed a bill that would repeal sales tax from tampons and other feminine products — pending consideration from the Senate.

Many consider the tax on feminine hygiene products an unfair burden on women and transgender men.

The changes that went into effect in Nevada meant that women and transgender men will no longer have to pay the 6.85 percent sales tax on pads and tampons. Earlier this year, Nevada fiscal analysts projected that state and local governments would lose between $6 million and $8.5 million per year if voters scrapped the tax, according to the Nevada Independent.

Opponents of the measure say public services will be impacted by the loss in tax revenue.

Nevada voters decided to get rid of sales tax on pads and tampons.
Nevada voters decided to get rid of sales tax on pads and tampons. Shutterstock

But the cost of feminine products, considered by most to be a necessity, adds up over time. It's been estimated that the average woman spends about $70 a year on tampons or pads. For young women, in particular, the cost can be prohibitive. When New York City added dispensers for free feminine hygiene products in some public schools in 2016, attendance increased 2.4 percent.

There are currently 14 states where consumers don't pay sales tax on feminine hygiene products — five states that don't have a general sales tax to begin with and nine that provide specific exceptions to their general sales tax laws for tampons and pads.

The nine states that don't have a tampon tax are:

  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania

The District of Columbia also provides an exemption for menstrual products.

Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon do not have general sales tax.

Many took to Twitter to support the move in both Ohio and Nevada: