What Is The Tampon Tax?

Hand holding tampons

When you go to the store to purchase period products, have you noticed a tax on the item? Have you ever wondered why? Well, you’re not alone. This sales tax, coined the ‘Tampon Tax,’ has entered the forefront of politics in many states because it is considered to be a form of gender discrimination.

Why Is It Important?

According to PERIOD, “people who menstruate spend an estimated $150 million a year just on the sales tax” for period products. This tax impacts those who are already suffering from other injustices including wage gaps. Many lawmakers and groups have decided to advocate on behalf of menstruators so the tax can be abolished.

Steps Forward 

As of now, over 10 states have abolished the Tampon Tax. In 2019, lawmakers in 22 states proposed a law to repeal the tax but there was minimal success. Recently, in Michigan, three women filed a lawsuit against the state government. The suit claims that the Michigan Tampon Tax is unlawful. The plaintiff’s attorneys are asking the “state to issue refunds, totaling $25 million, to people impacted during a four-year period by the sales tax.” In the past few years, several bills have been introduced in Michigan legislation. But, they have not been passed. Defendants of the tax say that its removal will cost the state about $6.5 million a year. To learn more about the lawsuit and state of the tampon tax in Michigan, read Michigan’s ‘tampon tax’ challenged in new lawsuit and Michigan women sue state to end tampon taxes, get cash refund.


If you’re interested in learning more about the Tampon Tax or ways to get involved, head here. Mission Menstruation understands that many people are unable to afford these necessary products, especially college students. We’re working to get these period products freely available in bathrooms across college campuses.

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