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Ohio House Votes Unanimously To End 'Pink Tax' On Feminine Hygiene Products

Boxes of tampons are displayed in a pharmacy, Monday, March 7, 2016, in New York.
Mark Lennihan
Associated Press
Boxes of tampons are displayed in a pharmacy, Monday, March 7, 2016, in New York.

A proposal repealing Ohio's sales tax on tampons and other feminine hygiene products has cleared the Ohio House with unanimous support.

State Rep. Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) and other Democratic lawmakers have been campaigning for years to end the “pink tax,” saying it is especially unfair to low-income women who find it difficult to pay for tampons and pads. A similar proposal passed the House last year but died in the Ohio Senate.

Kelly said that the small tax break makes a big difference for some families.

“We are giving women and girls in our state more access to products that can help them go to school, go to work, to fully participate in their community," Kelly says.

State Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) co-sponsored the legislation. He called Thursday's unanimous vote "a victory for all women in Ohio."

Antani says that once the bill becomes law, women in Ohio will see savings as well as added fairness in the tax code, since tampons are taxed while other types of hygiene products aren't.

Their repeal language passed after being folded into another bill that provides a tax credit to teachers who buy school supplies. The bill also restore tax breaks for lobbyists and lawyers, which were eliminated in the recent two-year state budget.

Adult diapers are also included in the sales tax exemption passed by the House.

The Ohio Senate must agree with the bill that would then go to Republican Gov. Mike DeWine.

Fifteen other states have already passed laws repealing the “pink tax.”

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.