California Considering Exempting ‘Tampon Tax’


Published Date : Jan 12, 2016

Growing awareness towards sanitation and urbanization has boosted the demand from the global feminine hygiene products market. In regions, especially Asia Pacific, several health programs focussed to raise awareness about sanitation across rural areas has augmented the market growth. Key market players such as Proctor & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson have partnered with governments in countries such as India to increase awareness among women regarding menstruation related health concerns. Rising consumer preference for nonwoven fabric napkins and tampons have further propelled the growth of the market. In the next five years, the growth of the feminine hygiene products market in Asia Pacific is expected to be the highest. 

In the global feminine hygiene products market, the U.S. is the largest market followed by Canada. Presence of key market players in the region have contributed to the growth of the market in these countries. The market is expected to further grow in the region with California considering exempting feminine hygiene products from sales tax. Sales tax on sanitary napkins, tampons, and other feminine hygiene products is imposed across many countries around the world. In California, exemption of the so called “tampon tax” is being considered as a means to close the wage gap separating women from men. 

Assemblywomen Ling Ling Chang and Cristina Garcia have raised this issue on the first day of the 2016 legislative session in California. Introducing the bill would cost the state about US$20 million in tax revenue. If the bill passes, sanitary napkins and tampons would be included in the list of other health products exempted from sales tax in California such as medical identification tags, walkers, and Viagra. Five states in the U.S. namely Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania have already eliminated the tampon tax.