Bill that eliminates sales tax on tampons heads to Senate Finance

Bill that eliminates sales tax on tampons heads to Senate Finance

PROVIDENCE – Legislation sponsored by District 12 Sen. Louis DiPalma 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 this week.

Rep. Edith Ajello, of Providence, has sponsored identical companion legislation 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 Ajello. “To tax these indispensable products is a fundamental inequality and it’s time for Rhode Island 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 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 Rhode Island Medical Society is in full support of Rep. Ajello and Sen. 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.


Property taxes just keep breaking our backs.