New York Joins Flow of States Making Tampons Tax-Free
By Tom Precious
The "tampon tax" is no longer.
A measure to exempt state and local sales taxes on tampons and other feminine hygiene products was signed into law Thursday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. New York joins 10 other states with such sales tax exemptions.
"I am thrilled that women in New York state will no longer be burdened by an egregious gender-based 'luxury tax,"' Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat, said in a statement Thursday afternoon.
"For too long, women have been paying a sexist tax on menstrual products, and this law will ax the monthly tax on a natural bodily function," she added.
Supporters of the legislation, which passed the Legislature in June, said the menstrual hygiene products are necessities that should be treated, for sales tax purposes, like prescription drugs and medical equipment.
The legislation did not include a fiscal note, though Cuomo estimated the lost sales tax revenues from the new law will total $10 million annually. It takes effect Sept. 1.
Other legislation signed Thursday includes:
--Requiring a judge to identify all individuals who a guardian must notify in the event of the death of someone whose care they are overseeing. It also seeks to end situations where people were not permitted by guardians to visit a sick relative.
--Adding vehicles with flashing blue or green lights used by volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers that are stopped at the scene of an emergency to those vehicles for which oncoming drivers must slow down and move over a lane.
--Expansion of the statute of limitations in which personal injury lawsuits can be brought for people harmed by substances emanating from a Superfund site; the legislation is a response to a water pollution problem plaguing the Rensselaer County community of Hoosick Falls.
(c)2016 The Buffalo News (Buffalo, N.Y.)