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Gov. Abbott Supports Removing ‘Tampon Tax’

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott | Image by Governor Greg Abbott Twitter

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott has joined key Republican politicians in supporting the “repeal” of sales tax on tampons and other menstrual hygiene products such as sanitary pads and pantyliners.

At present, menstrual products are tax-free in only 21 states. In Texas, however, menstrual hygiene items currently fall under the state sales tax, but new proposals could make them exempt, as with groceries, medicine, and bandages.

Advocates supporting tax-free women’s health products refer to the excise as the “tampon tax.”

Gov. Abbott’s support follows the example of Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar and State Senator Joan Huffman, who announced their support of making the products tax-exempt on Thursday, August 18.

Senator Huffman, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, explained, “I am proud to make this effort one of my priorities. Every woman knows that these products are not optional. They are essential to our health and well-being and should be tax exempt. This is the right thing to do for Texas women.”

Comptroller Hegar, the chief tax collection office in the state, echoed Senator Huffman’s position.

“Taxing these products is archaic, and it is time for Texas to join the 24 states that already exempt tampons and other feminine hygiene products from sales tax,” he expressed.

Hegar continued, “Our economy and state revenues are strong, and Texans are grappling with inflation and challenging price increases on everyday goods. These circumstances provide a tremendous opportunity to rectify this issue and exempt these products that represent a critical need for Texas women.”

The comptroller’s office noted that the additional exemption would reduce taxes by $28.6 million annually.

Hegar assured people that, “Texas can absorb this lost revenue easily, but for countless Texas women, this will mean significant savings in their personal budgets over time.”

With Governor Abbott’s support, the next session of the Texas Legislature will likely feature efforts to make tampons and other similar items tax-exempt.

Renae Eze, the spokeswoman for Gov. Abbott, stated, “Governor Abbott fully supports exempting feminine hygiene products from state and local sales tax.”

“These are essential products for women’s health and quality of life, and the Governor looks forward to working with the legislature in the next session to remove this tax burden on Texas women,” Eze continued.

This will not be the first attempt to change the tax code in Texas. For example, in 2017, State Representative Donna Howard pushed for similar legislation, but the bill died in committee without making it to a vote.

If the legislation does not get passed in the upcoming session, an attorney from Houston law firm Baker & Botts has indicated that they would attempt to pursue a “gender discrimination case” to get the tax exemption, according to Spectrum News.

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