Toledo, Ohio (WNWO)– House Bill 545 is now heading to the Ohio Senate. It contains what many refer to as the ‘pink tax’ exemption. It would make feminine products like tampons, panty liners, menstrual cups and more exempt from sales tax, a relief to many.
” Feminine products are always on our wish list of most needed items,” said Deidra Lashley, executive director of Bethany House, a shelter for female victims of abuse and their children.
Lashley is a supporter of the bill.
“It’s a monthly need that we have and so having a good supply is important to us,” said Lashley. She says the shelter has received support from groups like fight Homeless Period.
It’s a grassroots effort spearheaded by co-founder Sarah Skow. Skow argues lower income women are put at a financial disadvantage when having to pay extra for a necessity.
“Overall, the monetary amount might not be that significant on each purchase but these are thousands of dollars that women will spend over the course of their lifetime. if they have the means to do it.”
On average, each woman will spend $11,000 on tampons during her lifetime. The breaks down to about $632 in state sales tax .
Skow points out it’s difficult for someone struggling to afford basic needs.
Though critics of the bill argue menstrual products fall in the same category of necessity as toilet paper, or razors. Supporters argue feminine products are a necessity not a luxury and can even impact overall health such as increased likelihood of cervical cancer.
House Bill 545 has been approved by the Ohio house of Representatives and now moves to the Senate for further consideration.
If passed, the state will join 15 other who exclude feminine products from sales tax.
“One in 5 families in our county are facing poverty and so any help for those people who are really struggling from month to month will go a long ways,” said Lashley.