Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation that eliminates sales tax on feminine hygiene products, a bill that some have termed the "tampon tax." The bill exempts these products from local and State sales tax.
“This is a regressive tax on essential products that women have had to pay for far too long and lifting it is a matter of social and economic justice,” Governor Cuomo said. “I commend Assemblywoman (Linda) Rosenthal and Senator (Sue) Serino on their strong advocacy and for hard work in passing this important legislation.”
Serino, a Republican, represents portions of Dutchess and Putnam counties. She lives in Hyde Park and came into office last year.
Feminine hygiene products have been taxable since the state sales tax was first instituted in 1965, even as a wide variety of other goods, such as dietary and family planning products, have been exempt.
New York is one of the first states to join the movement to exempt feminine hygiene products from sales tax, which is expected to save women purchasing tampons, and other similar products, an estimated $10 million a year.
"With the signing of this bill today, we are taking a monumental step forward in reforming our out-of-touch tax laws and we are sending a strong message to New York’s women that they are being heard,'' Serino said. "This day is long overdue and I commend Governor Cuomo, as well as my colleagues in the Senate, for helping to finally make this tax a thing of the past. It is my hope that we can continue down the path of applying commonsense to our tax laws as we work to make our state more affordable for all New Yorkers.”
Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, a Democrat who represents a section of Manhattan said, “I am proud that my bill exempting feminine hygiene products from state and local sales tax has been signed into law by the Governor. The signing of this bill into law represents a new dawn. Women statewide will no longer be burdened by a lingering tax that was levied at a time when women were not part of government and the decision-making process. The tampon tax is regressive, and lifting it will spare all women the extra monthly burden of paying taxes on products that are already unaffordable to many.”