Here’s the first piece of good news that you are likely to hear from Florida this week (and, possibly, ever) — starting in January 2018, if you are a person who lives in Florida and has a period, you will no longer have to pay a tax on your period products.
Last week, Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, signed a bill that makes all feminine hygiene products tax-exempt. This is a pretty big deal if you’ve been following news on the tampon tax, which is a sexist, archaic, and just plain weird law that deems tampons and other feminine hygiene products a “luxury” product, which means that they have an extra added-on cost that other items don’t have. And, if you have a period, this can feel like the government is just adding insult to injury for you –not only do you have to deal with having your period, and whatever discomforts go along with it, you also have to pay top dollar for it. Basically, you’re being taxed for the fact that you have a vagina.
It’s 2017 & im livid that I have to suffer with not only a period but CRAMPING AND THROWING UP FROM PAIN & still forced to pay tampon tax
— Exhausted Covfefe (@TigerLilly_7) May 29, 2017
This, as Republican State Senator Kathleen Passidomo noted in a press release regarding the bill, is a “common sense legislation that will result in a tax savings for women all over the state who purchase these necessary products.” Indeed, the fact that menstrual products were ever considered anything other than a common sense medical necessity is, in itself, nonsensical, given that, as anyone who has ever had a period can attest, you literally cannot control how much you bleed during your period. (And in the event you were to decide to go without period products and free-bleed when you’re on your period, most people who don’t have to pay a tampon tax very much would not be cool with it.)
Florida got rid of the tampon tax before CALIFORNIA wild
— daniela ? (@venusinfleurzzz) May 31, 2017
— 4womenovarywhere (@womenovarywhere) May 30, 2017
It’s frustrating enough that we have to pay so much for feminine products that many feel should be given to women for free – it’s even more frustrating to think that we have to pay an extra tax because they are deemed a luxury. Getting rid of this tax should have happened years ago, although actually, the tax never should have happened in the first place. And not to be weird or ~assume~ things, but I bet that if men got periods, tampons and pads would be available everywhere, for free, and there would be paid vacation times for PMS days. I mean, I can’t say that would happen for sure, but I’m pretty positive it would.
Florida is not the first state to eliminate the tampon tax (thirteen other states and the District of Columbia have done it already). Still, it’s definitely cool to see that a bill geared towards women was able to gain sufficient bipartisan support (meaning that both Republicans and Democrats supported it) to pass in a state that doesn’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to women’s rights. And who knows? Maybe the movement will go national next.
What do you think of the tampon tax? Does your state still tax tampons? Let us know in the comments!