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Florida Lawmakers Push Tax Exemption For Period Products

More than $400 million in taxes will be cut in the upcoming fiscal year.
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Most states tax feminine hygiene products as “luxury items.” But state lawmakers across the U.S., including in Florida, are introducing so-called “tampon tax” legislation.

The proposals would exempt these products from sales tax. Florida lawmakers have also suggested exempting diapers. Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, a menstrual policy advocate, says it’s about economic equality for women.

“These are necessary for us go about living our daily lives," she said. "It’s really hard for us to show up at work or school and be productive anywhere if you don’t have the products you need to manage menstruation. If you’re unable to afford them, that’s a real barrier.”

Thirteen states have exempted feminine hygiene products or don’t have a state sales tax. Seven states besides Florida are expected to introduce tampon tax proposals this year, including Texas, Utah and Virginia.

Sarah Mueller is a journalist who has worked for media outlets in several states since 2010. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2010 and worked as a print reporter covering local government and politics.