Over at Periodnirvana.com we've been closely watching the status of various laws that will remove state 'tampon taxes.' Menstruation is not a choice, not a sexual activity, and having good choices to manage menstruation provides for healthy and productive living. Despite this health need, 27 US states have not exempted menstrual products from state sales and use taxes. That's down 3 states from the last time we wrote about the state of tampon tax in the US, showing some momentum in repealing this tax nationwide. Unfortunately, the South Carolina bill remains in Committee for both the House and Senate. With my warehouse located in SC, I've reached out to the bill sponsors to seek progress on behalf of my customers.
Iowa became the most recent state to sign into law a sales tax exemption for period care products. While their law is incredibly gendered, it does provide clear exemption for menstrual cups -- bringing our favorite product to equal footing with tampons! The Senate File 2367 was signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds on June 17, 2022 -- but won't take effect until January 1, 2023. For those that know me, and my history with www.dirtydiaperlaundry.com, it comes as no surprise that I'm also thrilled to hear this law adds exemptions for cloth diapers. Iowa news coverage is pretty sparse, you can reach more about SF2367 on the state website, or peep the key paragraph below:
Another recent state to repeal their taxation of period related products is Michigan. The governor signed into law an exemption on November of 2021. This was on the back of a class action lawsuit brought on by Period Equity, a non-profit group that uses legal action to challenge states that still tax period care. This class-action was also paired with a grass-root campaign... and within weeks the law was changed. Period Equity was founded by Laura Strausfeld, and is now known as PeriodLaw. You can read more about the legal effort and rationale here.
Vermont can also be added to the tax-free list of states. They signed their exemption of period products on June 8, 2021. This was the second time an exemption was pursued, an attempt in 2019 failed to make its way to law. Better late than never!
July 2022 is the first month customers in Louisiana can purchase menstrual products and cloth diapers tax-free. A bill signed in June of last year finally goes into effect, codifying that period care is essential care and equivalent to other essential items like prescription drugs, bandages, and other health-care items. While this adds one state to the tax-free list, Utah got removed from the list. People in Utah had a tax-free period, but a citizen-forced referendum repealed the tax law that gave them the exemption. This repeal meant that Utah citizens had just a few months in 2019 to purchase period products tax-free.
You'll be happy to know that our store, Period.Shop, has modified its sales tax collection rules to comply with these exemptions on a per-product and per-state basis. If your state exempts menstrual products... you shouldn't be charged. If you notice/catch an error, please reach out to us and let us know via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Unfortunately, these exemptions have to be managed manually in our system. Please note that Period.Shop does not have a tax nexus in all US states, unlike big-box and mega online retailers. That means for many states you can shop completely tax-free at our store.