Attack the Tampon Tax!
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Periods are terrible. Everyone with a uterus knows that.
Cramps. Bloating. Acne. Mood swings. Blood.
The list of what makes a menstrual cycle awful goes on and on. However, there is one thing that doesn't need to be on that list: the tampon tax. Feminine hygiene products need to be exempt from sales tax for several different reasons. I've included some important ones below, but be aware that there are many more reasons to destroy the tampon tax!
- Menstrual products are a necessity for anyone who experiences a menstrual cycle.
- Women already make only about 77% of what men make. Why should women have to spend more on products they need?
Sales tax on essential items, such as tampons, disproportionally affect people of color and those already struggling financially. For example, Hispanic and Latina women only make 54% of what non-Hispanic white men make. Source 1
- Feminine hygiene products are considered luxury items by most lawmakers. Because of sanitary reasons, societal pressure, the stigma around menstruation, and many other reasons, freebleeding is simply not an option for many women. Therefore, menstrual products ought to be considered necessities by the law.
- Sales tax adds up - especially when you consider than the average women would have about 450 periods in her lifetime. That's a lot of pads to buy. Source 2
- Charging sales tax for feminine hygiene products punishes women for being women. It penalizes anyone with a uterus just because they bleed once a month.
- The vast majority of legislators are cis men. They may have wives, they may have daughters, but in the end, most of them are unwilling to create legislation that makes menstrual products exempt from sales tax. Alternatively, these male legislators may be too uncomfortable with this issue to attempt to change things.
As a young woman who will be going off to college in two years, I think a lot about finances. I know menstrual products will definitely take a chunk out of my wallet, but it doesn't have to be this way. Making feminine hygiene products exempt from sales tax is a small step for Missouri to make, but it is a big deal for women who are unemployed, struggling to make ends meet because of medical bills or student loans, or just experiencing the difficulties of being a woman. Women should not have to choose between buying food and buying tampons.
This petition will be sent to Missouri lawmakers in an attempt to get them to change the tax code. In 2017, HB 841 was an introduced bill about feminine hygiene products, but it was never passed. Signing this petition will help persuade Missouri's legislators to take HB 841 and other bills like it seriously. Many of these members of the Missouri House of Representatives are going to be up for reelection in 2019, so their reactions to this petition can really affect how their constituents will vote next year.
As strong, determined citizens, we can get the tampon tax abolished. Join me and help make the world a better place!
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