Luxury tax, for being women.

7 May

(Originally posted to the Community section of MyMedia)

Women in several states in these USofA have to pay luxury taxes for items that do not meet the criteria for luxury. Things like tampons and sanitary pads are, for the immense majority of women, necessary–nay, indispensable–for at least a few days every month. Every month, for decades.

Women, particularly working women at every level, cannot say, ‘hey, I don’t need tampons/pads this month, I’ll just put that money towards paying a debt, or in savings instead.’

And not only are the blasted things expensive to begin with, then to get hit with the luxury tax? Makes the blood boil.

Which is why this article made my evening:

“I wasn’t elected to represent just the men in my district. I was elected to represent the women, too,” Knezek pointed out. “And in a chamber where women only constitute 4 of the 38 Senators, I believe that obligates me to step up and demonstrate my unwavering support as an ally and as a feminist. I’ll never know what it’s like to have a period, but I listen to the women who do. They tell me this issue of unfair taxation is a problem for them. They tell me it disproportionately affects low income women. So, I try to do something about it. I don’t have to have lived the life of someone else to justify my support for them. If it’s right, it’s right.”

Go on, read it through–the last line? Bull’s eye: “I have no idea why states would tax these as luxury items. I suspect it’s because men were making the laws when these taxes were passed.” Color me utterly not surprised.

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3 Responses to “Luxury tax, for being women.”

  1. Bona Caballero 07/05/2016 at 1:44 PM #

    Curiously, we have the same debate here about the 21% V.A.T. on these kind of products. But last month it was mixed with political problems as some of the new parties wanted to stop the corporations like Tampax to give information to teenagers and these teenagers of being informed of different ways to deal with the period. If you’re interested, you can read about it in this post called Cosas de mujeres It’s one of those structural sexism that people do rarely acknowledge.

    • azteclady 07/05/2016 at 5:21 PM #

      I’m speechless. 21% tax? Do things like diapers get taxed the same?

      Which, now that I think about it, brings to mind those adult diapers for people suffering from incontinence, due to bladder issues, or perhaps age–I don’t know if those are taxed as luxury items over here. Are they over there?

      Edited to add: I love the Cosas de mujeres entry; I found out about the cup some five years ago myself, as a much better alternative to pads (tampons are useless to me), from an online video from someone in a British speaking country–I want to say Australia, but I’m not sure–and it worked for me for years, though they were only available online, and they were supposed to be disposed off after one use (two a day). I could never find any of the other recommended brands for sale in the USoA. The big pad and tampon brands are too powerful, obviously.

      • Bona Caballero 15/05/2016 at 1:21 PM #

        Yep, diapers have also 21% V.A.T. (I.V.A. in Spanish), as cinema & theatre tickets. Diapers for adults and other sanitary products as well. They were 10% and they rose up to 21%, I think it was last year. The rise of this tax has been a cause of protests, for instance among families with several children. BTW, porn is taxed 4%.

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