‘Tampon tax’ officially eliminated in New York

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ALBANY, N.Y. — New York has become the most recent state to make tampons and feminine hygiene products exempt from local and state sales tax.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Thursday to eliminate the “regressive tax” that has existed in the state for more than 50 years.

The law is expected to save women across New York about $10 million a year on tampons, sanitary napkins, pantyliners and more.

Many goods and products in New York that are considered basic necessities are already tax-free, including medicine, laundry services, college textbooks and some foods. The argument that tampons and related products are essential to women has been the key for organizations and advocates fighting to eliminate the tax nationwide.

“Women (in New York) 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 state Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who championed the bill. “Lifting it will spare all women the extra monthly burden of paying taxes on products that are already unaffordable to many.”

The state Assembly passed the legislation in May and has been waiting for governor approval for almost two months.

New York joins Illinois, Florida and others in making moves against the so-called  tampon tax. However, the tariff still exists in around 40 states.

The law comes on the heels of a bill New York City lawmakers passed in June that grants free access to tampons and sanitary pads for thousands in public schools, homeless shelters and jails.