Georgia lawmakers introduce bill to exempt menstrual products from sales tax
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Menstrual products are currently taxed at 4% in Georgia, while other health products such as Viagra aren’t taxed at all.
That’s because under Georgia law prescription medications are tax-exempt. State Senator Nabilah Islam argues that period products are also a medical necessity for women and girls.
“We should not make it more costly for women and girls to access a necessity because we have a menstrual cycle every month,” Islam said. “This is all about fairness.”
That’s why Islam authored Senate Bill 51, which would eliminate state sales tax on products like pads and tampons.
It’s a fight that’s been going on at the State House for years, and one that Claire Cox, chairwoman of Georgia Stop Taxing Our Menstrual Products (STOMP) is very familiar with. The state-wide coalition has been working to address menstrual equity and “period poverty” since 2017.
“We believe that it’s discriminatory based on the equal protection clause. These are medical devices that are necessary for good health used primarily by women and we shouldn’t be taxed on them,” Cox said.
STOMP has been advocating for similar bills over the last five years, but none of them were signed into law. Cox says if it’s a matter of money, exempting period products would be a drop in the bucket.
“The fiscal note on this would be $10 million a year. Which in relation to our state budget is less than .01% of our state budget. But that’s $10 million balanced on the backs of women every single year, and it’s time to eliminate it,” Cox said.
Islam says a hearing is scheduled for Monday at the Capitol with members of the finance committee to discuss SB-51.
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