Multi-State – Tampon Taxes: Do Feminine Hygiene Products Deserve a Sales Tax Exemption?

Tax Foundation
Nicole Kaeding April 26, 2017

Key Findings

  • In 2016, at least 13 states and the District of Columbia considered proposals to exempt feminine hygiene products from the state sales tax. Ultimately, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, and the District of Columbia adopted the proposed exemptions.

  • Ideally, sales tax should apply to all final consumer purchases, without regard for whether a product is a “necessity” or “luxury.”

  • Of the 45 states which impose statewide sales taxes, seven—Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania—specifically exempt feminine hygiene products from the sales tax base.

  • No state assesses a special or unique tax on feminine hygiene products.

  • Exempting feminine hygiene products is part of a broader trend of shrinking state sales tax bases. Smaller sales tax bases lead to higher overall sales tax rates.

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