Bill that eliminates sales tax on feminine hygiene products and home care medical supplies heard in Senate Finance
STATE HOUSE – Legislation (2016-S 2607) sponsored by Sen. Louis P. DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Newport, Little Compton, Tiverton) that eliminates the sales tax on feminine hygiene products and disposable home care medical supplies, such as one-use syringes and blood testing strips for diabetics and inhalers for asthmatics, was heard before the Senate Committee on Finance tonight. Rep. Edith H. Ajello (D-Dist. 1, Providence) has sponsored identical companion legislation (2016-H 7714) in the House of Representatives.
“Whether to use or not to use these products is not a choice that women have the luxury and privilege to make; they are a necessity to our health and well-being,” said Representative Ajello. “To tax these indispensable products is a fundamental inequality and it’s time for RI to recognize the legitimate needs of its older girls and women.”
“To label feminine hygiene products and home care medical supplies as luxury items so that they may be taxed is a ridiculous notion and practice,” said Senator DiPalma. “Times are fiscally tight for so many Rhode Islanders these days and I do not believe it is right to raise the prices of these medically necessary products with unwarranted sales taxes.”
"Tampons and pads are necessities, not luxuries, and they should be treated in the tax code as necessities. Having a period is not a luxurious experience," wrote Meghan Kallman, Christina Morra and Robin Dionne, part of a group from the Women's Policy Institute that is supporting the legislation.
“We are very much in favor of recognizing that menstrual products are not luxury items under current Rhode Island law,” said Steven DeToy, Director of Government Affairs for the Rhode Island Medical Society. “The RI Medical Society is in full support of Representative Ajello and Senator DiPalma’s legislation to correct this problem.”
The legislation would exempt products used for feminine hygiene in connection with the menstrual cycle, and disposable medical home care products used in managing chronic conditions, such as blood test strips, single use syringes, and inhalers, from the state sales tax.
For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903