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Tampon Tax Bill Back Before Ohio Lawmakers

Volunteers at the Buren Shelter assemble bags of free tampons for shelter residents.
Esther Honig
/
WOSU
Volunteers at the Buren Shelter assemble bags of free tampons for shelter residents.

Backers of a bill that would exempt feminine hygiene supplies from the state sales tax say it’s simply not fair that women in Ohio are paying taxes on medical supplies they need. 

The chief of staff for online retailer BOXED told an Ohio House Ways and Means Committee his company has lowered prices on tampons and sanitary pads to make them more affordable.

Max Dworin says Ohio taxes the products because they are considered luxury items but he says women, including his girlfriend, don’t see it that way.

“If I said, ‘Oh no, that’s a luxury item, we are going to skip those this month,’ I’d probably be sleeping on the couch,” he said.

The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Rep. Brigid Kelly, says tampons and pads should be treated like other health-care supplies.

“Other similar medically necessary products are already exempt from the sales tax,” she said.

Though previous versions of the bill to eliminate what’s known as “the pink tax” haven’t gotten far, this one has bipartisan support.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.