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June 6 — Tampons and other menstrual supplies would be exempt from California sales and use tax under a bill passed by the Assembly.
A.B. 1561 by Assemblywomen Cristina Garcia (D) and Ling Ling Chang (R) is one of a dozen bills moving through state legislatures to exempt feminine hygiene products from tax. It passed the Assembly 68-0 June 2 without debate and moves to the Senate for consideration (2016 Weekly State Tax Report 24, 3/25/16).
Garcia said before the vote on the Assembly floor that the state shouldn't be in the business of taxing women because they are born women.
“Our sales tax code is a reflection of what we value,” Garcia said. “We value motion pictures and candy over women's health. It's time we start valuing women's health and stop taxing menstrual products.”
Motion pictures and candy are exempt from California sales and use tax.
The measure would apply to tampons, sanitary napkins, menstrual cups and menstrual sponges. The exemption would result in a revenue loss of $20 million a year, according to the State Board of Equalization. The five-member elected SBOE supports the bill.
The Assembly acted on A.B. 1561 in time to meet a deadline of June 3 for bills to pass their house of origin. Other tax policy bills that passed before the deadline include:
Three of the bills—A.B. 2392, S.B. 873, and S.B. 907—are nearly identical to three bills Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed in 2015 out of frustration that lawmakers had failed to fix an improper tax on health plans and were leaving a $1 billion hole in the budget. The Legislature enacted a fixed managed care organization tax in May, so lawmakers are trying again to enact the vetoed bills (2016 Weekly State Tax Report 25, 5/20/16).
The bills must pass their second house by Aug. 31, the last day of the 2016 session, to reach the governor's desk.
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More information about the bills is at http://src.bna.com/fEL.
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