Lawmakers Fight “Pink Tax”


Have you heard about the debate over a pink tax? The real issue is not pink, it’s green, as in money.

The controversy surrounds the fact that many products made just for women cost more. And in Illinois, lawmakers are getting involved because of the sales tax that’s levied on some specific products.

Every woman is a frequent visitor of the feminine hygiene aisle, but if she could have it her way those visits and expenses would be less frequent.

“These are necessities, they’re not luxury items. And they shouldn’t be taxed like luxury items,” Illinois Senator Melinda Bush said.

Bush is pushing to join the 5 other U.S. states that do not tax feminine hygiene products. Products like tampons and sanitary napkins among others.

It’s a tax that women in Illinois pay 6.25% for. Some lawmakers want to lower the tax to 1% the same as groceries. Bush would like to see it at zero.

That’s money that women could use on other vital products.

“That’s dollars. Any dollar can help. I got to buy Pampers, diapers, wipes, food, all kinds of stuff,” Illinois resident Stephanie Nicholson said.

Some say it’s a discrimination against women by a mostly male government.

“I think if it came down to it and there were athletic men that needed these types of things, there wouldn’t be any question of waiving any taxes,” Illinois resident Nicole Shomidie said.

“It’s a wrong place to make revenue, it’s a wrong place,” Bush said.

Equal pay is an issue in itself, pink tax is just an additional inequality.

“We make 79 cents on the dollar and we’re paying more for products that we absolutely need as a necessity,” Bush said.

The five states in the U.S. that do not have taxes on feminine products are Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and New Jersey. That’s according to a report from this year from Fusion Network.

Indiana is one of the states that does tax.  In January, the Indiana House of Republicans turned back attempts to lower the tax on feminine products.


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