The ‘tampon tax’ shouldn’t exist


Junior Mackenzie Atkinson

In Michigan, women spend about $7 to $10 on feminine products every month from the start of their menstrual cycle until they hit menopause. In the span of roughly 40 years that is roughly $3,360 to $4,800 dollars spent on those products.

Now slap 42 to 60 cents onto the price tag in taxes.

That added tax increases the cost of feminine products in a lifetime by at least $200.

On Feb. 13, 2019, House Bill No. 4166 was proposed which would end the taxation on feminine hygiene products. It was assigned to the tax policy committee in the Michigan House of Representatives.

Ms. Melina Brann, the executive director of the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing, and Ms. Mary Pollack, representing the American Association of University Women of Michigan, gave testimonies to the Tax Policy committee Oct. 2, 2019, in support of this bill.

Both claimed feminine hygiene products are a basic necessity for women and shouldn’t be taxed.

Understanding the fact that passing a bill could take many long months or even years, it is reasonable that not much action has been made. But why is the “tampon tax” a thing in the first place?

Menstrual products are taxed on the basis of a general sales tax, not a special tax created for the sale of feminine hygiene products which doesn’t make it discriminatory.

But only a portion of the population is purchasing the products.

My argument isn’t that a tax on menstrual products is discriminating against females but rather the tax is making it more expensive for something that is necessary for their health and well-being.

If feminine products aren’t available or we can’t afford them then our period would leak through onto our pants, staining the clothes and whatever piece of furniture we were sitting on which can cause public health concerns.

Dried blood on public surfaces is treated as possibly infectious because viruses in the blood can live for up to four days.

Some menstruating women have to miss school or work because they can’t afford the already pricey products and the taxes just add to the cost.

There isn’t a tax on food because it is deemed a necessity.

Why aren’t feminine hygiene products labeled under this principle as well?