TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) – We might take it for granted when things like band aids, lip balms and cough drops are tax exempt. Women around the state are asking for the same treatment for feminine products they say are necessary to live healthy lives.
Guys, maybe you don’t think about it as much as women do, and maybe women don’t think about it when they’re buying them, but there’s a tampon tax in Florida. And now a Hillsborough County woman has filed a lawsuit looking to get rid of it
Tallahassee lawyer Dana Brooks is one of the attorneys representing the plaintiff.
“Female sanitary products, tampons, pads, stuff like that, used almost exclusively for women, are taxed. And have been taxed, and so we feel like that is discriminatory on its face, it obviously affects women disproportionately,” she said.
Three state agencies have been named in the suit as well as WalMart, Walgreens, Target, Publix, and CVS.
Barbara DeVane with the National Organization for Women supports the lawsuit. She says it’s absurd that tampons are being taxed and other products aren’t.
“If you can exempt bunion pads, why not menstrual pads? Petroleum jelly, wart removers, and for heaven’s sakes, ostrich feed. There are more women than ostriches in the state of Florida,” she said.
Brooks says the products are a necessity.
“It’s a public hygiene and safety issue… these costs are being taken on by women,” she said.
The class action suit is seeking money for women who have bought the products in the past three years.
The attorney in the lawsuit told us that she hopes the legislature will act and repeal the tax. The New York state legislature recently repealed the tax on feminine hygiene products, and California has a similar lawsuit pending.