Legislation would make feminine hygiene products tax-free

Senate Bill 5147 heads to the governor’s desk

By Leona Vaughn

WNPA News Service

OLYMPIA — Women in Washington state soon will be relieved of paying sales tax on products that are fundamental to their feminine health if the governor signs a bill approved by the state Legislature.

Senate Bill 5147 would exempt feminine hygiene products, including tampons and menstrual cups, from sales tax in the state.

It was passed by the Senate on March 7, with a vote of 49-0, and by the House on Tuesday with a vote of 95-2. It now heads to the governor’s desk for signature and if signed would take effect July 1.

Currently 31 states do not exempt menstrual products from sales tax, including Washington state, according to Period Equity.

“The products themselves are medically necessary,” said Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, the bill’s primary sponsor, in an earlier hearing.

“It just happens to be that women use these exclusively. Every other medical necessary product that we have out there is tax exempt.”

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This story is part of a series of news reports from the Washington State Legislature provided through a reporting internship sponsored by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation.

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