The House of Representatives in South Carolina voted on Wednesday to get rid of the state’s “period tax,” which would help fund initiatives to increase the accessibility and affordability of menstrual hygiene products.
House Bill 3563 repeals the sales tax on tampons, pads, and other products used during the menstrual cycle as of January 1, 2020.
With a unanimous vote of 114-0, the proposal was passed. In the legislature, some members were either absent or did not cast a vote.
Following the bill’s passage, Gilda Cobb-Hunter (Democrat of Orangeburg) said it was a “great day in South Carolina.”
She tweeted her thoughts, saying, “it is an idea whose time has come.”
She said being a member of both parties, it pleases her to see the initiative supported by so many.
If this legislation passes, South Carolina will become one of 22 states and the District of Columbia that do not impose a sales tax on menstrual hygiene products.
The National Organization for Women reports that the average monthly cost of feminine hygiene products for women is around $20. The usual sales tax rate in South Carolina is 6%, which increases the cost of necessities by a few dollars on a monthly basis.
Period Project director and CEO Karen Culbreath-Dudley said, “Our elected House Members stood up in favor of women, girls, and individuals who menstruate across the state of South Carolina. As of today, we have moved closer to becoming a force for good in the lives of those who suffer from Period Poverty. The abolition of the sales tax on menstrual health products is an important step in ensuring that families in South Carolina have access to affordable, high-quality options for promoting and maintaining health.”
A vote in the state Senate is required before the legislation can be presented to the Governor for signature.