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Ohio House passes bill exempting feminine hygiene products from state sales tax

(WJW Photo)

COLUMBUS — The Ohio State House of Representatives has passed a bill that exempts feminine hygiene products from state sales tax.

This new tax exemption falls under House Bill 545, a larger tax related bill that passed Wednesday afternoon.

Supporters of the bill argue that not only can taxing menstruation-control products provide economic hardship for women and families, but can also have potential health consequences.

Women who go without proper feminine hygiene products, such as tampons and pads, are reportedly at risk of developing health complications such as infections, disease or infertility.

Those supporting the bill point out that medicines prescribed to treat those infections are tax exempt currently, however the products that can prevent them are not.

“Eliminating the tampon tax will put more money into the pockets of women, in-turn strengthening the families they support and nurture,” said State Rep. Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati), “I am thankful we were able to come together to even the playing field for women, girls and families on medically necessary products. No one should face extra economic challenges simply because of their gender.”

Reportedly women give the state nearly $4 million annually in taxes from purchasing feminine hygiene products.

“The percentage of working women in Ohio is growing, but they still face burdensome costs that men do not,” said Kelly. “I hope that during the next General Assembly, we can continue working on policies that ensure no one in Ohio is left behind.”

The HB 545 now moves to the Senate for consideration.  If passed into law, Ohio will join 15 other states that exempt feminine products from sales tax.