Texas officials indicate support for repealing tampon tax

Texas officials indicate support for repealing tampon tax

Isabel Webb Carey
Isabel Webb Carey
|
August 22, 2022

Last week, Texas officials signaled their support for eliminating the  sales tax on products like tampons, sanitary pads and pantyliners. 

Menstrual products are already tax-free in 24 states, but previous attempts to repeal the sales tax in Texas have failed and will likely face more hurdles during next year’s legislative session. . Doing so would require new legislation when lawmakers convene starting in January 2023. Legislation would have to pass in the House and Senate before heading to Gov. Greg Abbott for approval. 

However, according to a statement released Friday, if next session’s legislation reaches Abbott’s desk, he would support eliminating the tax.

“Governor Abbott fully supports exempting feminine hygiene products from state and local sales tax,” stated Renae Eze, a spokesperson for the governor. “These are essential products for women’s health and quality of life, and the Governor looks forward to working with the legislature in the next session to remove this tax burden on Texas women.”

Other Texas Republicans have been similarly vocal about the issue. State Sen. Joan Huffman, a Houston Republican who chairs the senate Finance Committee,  said she’d make the issue a priority. Meanwhile, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar and called taxing products like tampons “archaic” and said Texas should to join the growing number of states that already exempt tampons and other feminine hygiene products from sales tax. 

Other health care necessities, such as medicine and bandages, are already exempt from sales tax in Texas. Advocates have called for the repeal of the tax, arguing that menstrual products should be classified as “wound care dressings,” which prevent bacterial infections and “maintain a moist or dry wound environment.” Given that wound dressings like Band-Aids are exempt from sales tax, supporters of repealing the sales tax on menstrual products argue that taxing them discriminates on the basis of sex.

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Isabel Webb Carey

Isabel Webb Carey

Isabel Webb Carey attends the University of Texas at Austin in the Plan II Honors Program with a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas. Her interests include education, local governance, sustainability, and equity. Isabel enjoys dancing, hiking, and live music. She is also a staff writer for the Texas Orator. Email her at isabelwebbcarey@gmail.com
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