Menstruators of New York, it's time to wave your pads in the air like you just don't care! Governor Andrew Cuomo has decreed that he will sign into law a bill abolishing the tampon tax. WGRZ reported that "the Senate approved the bill by a 56-0 vote Wednesday, following the Assembly's 144-0 vote earlier in the month," meaning that the vote against the tampon tax was fucking unanimous. U-goddamn-NANIMOUS.
The tax will exempt all menstrual care items (including future products — tampons of the future!) from both the state sales tax and any local sales tax. New York joins five other states in making period products tax-free: Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and New Jersey already done did that. Ten more states are eyeing similar legislation (including California — good news for any West Coasters who surf the crimson tide)!
So, why do we care so much? Before the law, ABC acknowledged that tampons, menstrual pads, pantyliners and the like were subject to "4 percent state sales tax and local taxes that generally are about 5 percent." Let's do the math!:
(4% + 5%) x (the number of periods you have every year) x (the number of years you have periods for) = holy cow does that add up.
Like toilet paper, menstrual items are necessary for living, not "luxury items," so why TF were they even taxed in the first place? Having a period is already expensive (tampons and bananas and 80 proof whiskey don't buy themselves HAHA), so the tax was just an added kick in the fallopian tubes.
This is one small step for New York, one giant leap for bleeders everywhere! This is a big victory for New York State, but we're not done yet. H.R. 3117 (the FEM Products Act of 2015) was introduced last summer by Rep. Grace Meng, who hopes to include feminine hygiene products on the list of items covered by Flexible Spending Accounts, as NPR reported earlier this month. Here in New York City, Councilmember Julissa Ferreras-Copeland is hoping to pass a bill to make free tampons available to menstruators in NYC schools, prisons, and emergency housing shelters.
Isn't it about freaking time?! I think — and I'm sure many bleeders will agree with me — that we didn't ask to bleed, we're not asking for special treatment, we just want to be able to manage our flow and get on with our lives! Amirite? Let's not stop working on this issue until we #FreeTheTampons!
featured photo of excellent tampon stash, author's own. yeah, baby. those are my tamps. jealous?
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Meghan Sara is a tour guide for Ghosts, Murders and Mayhem Walking Tours. She is open-minded about everything, but intolerant to gluten. She blogs at meghansara.com, is a regular contributor to Femnasty, and tweets her feelings @MeghanSaraK.