WASHINGTON — A tax on tampons could be nixed under legislation proposed by Washington D.C. Councilwoman Anita Bonds, chairwoman of the Housing and Community Development Committee.
The “Feminine Hygiene and Diapers Sales Tax Exemption Amendment Act of 2016” hopes to roll back the burden of sales taxes on necessary sanitary products. In Washington, the sales tax is 5.75 percent. Advocates of the bill want tampons to be tax-exempt like other necessities, such as wheelchairs and crutches. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a think tank, found that the poorest are the hardest hit by the tax.
“This research clearly shows that those on the lower end of the spectrum in economic wages are taxed at a higher rate than those in the one percent or even those in the top 20 percent. They pay their state and local taxes at a higher rate than high income earners,” said David Meadows, chief of staff for Bonds.
There are only five states that do not tax tampons: Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and New Jersey. Seven states don’t tax diapers and three — Connecticut, Maryland and North Dakota — don’t tax adult diapers.
“We got the middle class, we got the lower class, and we got the upper class. Why can’t we all be paying the same thing,” said Washington resident Alyssa Robinson. “Why does there have to be a difference? Because of the amount of money we make.”
Robinson said the tax was too high. “I can barely take care of my two kids, that’s why I choose to not have any more (children),”
The legislation will be introduced at Council Tuesday and go to the Finance and Revenue Committee.