COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The state of Ohio doesn't charge sales tax on Viagra, laxatives or toilet paper, but tampons? Those cost the consumer a little extra.
Despite most women regularly needing some kind of menstrual hygiene product for most of their lives, Ohio's tax exemption for medicine, medical accessories and hygiene items doesn't extend to pads, tampons or menstrual cups.
That could soon change.
The Ohio House of Representatives voted 84-1 to pass a tax bill that includes provisions to end the "period tax" statewide. If the Senate passes House Bill 545, Ohio will join a growing number of states to abolish a taxing practice that disproportionately affects women.
"This is a common sense tax cut that should have been enacted long ago," bill co-sponsor Rep. Niraj Antani, a Miamisburg Republican, said. "It will help the women of Ohio keep more of their hard earned money. The law as it currently stands discriminated against women, and I am proud to have voted for this bill that repeals this discrimination."
According to the Journal-News, repealing the tax will save women across Ohio about $4 million each year.
Minnesota, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut and Florida had all outlawed the tax by March 2018.