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Tampon Tax Exemption Bill Hits Roadblock

Wikimedia Commons
 

Wikimedia Commons

A bill that would exempt tampons and other menstrual products from state and local taxes has hit a roadblock.

The head of the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee, Democratic Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, pulled the bill off the agenda before the measure's first hearing on Monday.

A spokeswoman for bill author Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia says the decision by the committee chair came after Garcia refused to add an amendment Ridley-Thomas wanted that would allow local governments to retain the sales taxes on tampons and pads.

The spokeswoman says Garcia had already accepted one change to her original bill that will allow the tax exemption to sunset after five years. She says Garcia had the necessary votes in the Revenue and Taxation Committee to win approval if Ridley-Thomas hadn't yanked the bill.

A similar bill was approved by the legislature last year before being vetoed by the Governor Jerry Brown. Ridley-Thomas voted for the bill. Garcia tweaked the bill this year after last year's veto by Brown, who said the state couldn't afford to lose the tax revenue. Garcia's new bill would add a tax on distilled spirits to make up for the lost revenue from the menstrual products.

Garcia says the tax increase on alcohol distributors would equate to an amount of less than two pennies per drink.

*Editor's Note:  An error in this, posted Tuesday, March 14, has been corrected. We mistakenly reported that the bill to exempt tampons and other menstrual products from state and local taxes was pulled by the author of the bill from its first hearing in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committe. The head of the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee, not the bill’s author, was the one who pulled the bill from a committee hearing on Monday.  

- Capital Public Radio Staff