Colorado bill would exempt feminine hygiene products from state sales tax

Posted at 2:06 PM, Feb 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-01 16:06:02-05

DENVER – Colorado women would no longer have to pay extra state sales taxes on feminine hygiene products if a bill under consideration in the state Legislature passes.

Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver, and Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik, an Adams County Republican, are co-sponsoring House Bill 1127, which would exempt the state sales tax on tampons, menstrual pads and sanitary napkins, pantiliners, menstrual sponges and menstrual cups.

Canada repealed its so-called “tampon tax” in 2015, but around 40 U.S. states still tax the products.

Women around the world have fought the tax in recent years, saying it is a basic necessity and should not be subject to taxation.

The Colorado bill classifies feminine hygiene products as a drug, medical or therapeutic devices. The exemption would go into effect starting Jan. 1, 2018 if the bill becomes law.

The fiscal impact report on the bill from the Colorado Legislative Council says, if approved, the exemption would cost Colorado $1.2 million in state tax revenue to the General Fund in FY 2017-18 and $2.4 million in FY 2018-19, when it would be applied for the full fiscal year.

The report says an estimated 1.5 million women in the state are of typical menstruating age and estimates each woman spends $60 a year on feminine hygiene products, generating about $2 each year per person.

The bill would allow local municipalities and counties to adopt the exemption as well.

The fiscal impact report says those exemptions could cost the Regional Transportation District about $740,000 over the next two years, and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District about $74,000.

The bill is scheduled for its first hearing Feb. 13 in the House Finance Committee.


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