Chicago Just Got Rid Of Taxes On Feminine Hygiene Products

Chicago joins a small group of cities that have abolished a tax on tampons and sanitary pads under the argument that they are "medical necessities."

By Lexie Hammesfahr | March 17, 2016

Congrats, Chicago ladies. You can now buy tampons and pads with a little less tax attached to the purchase.

Chicago's city council voted unanimously to remove the 1.25 percent city tax from feminine hygiene products. Granted, women will still pay the 9 percent state and county taxes, but hey, it's a start.

It's in response to a national effort to eliminate the tax that women are forced to pay to manage a bodily function that men don't have.

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One California assemblywoman did the math on what that tampon tax adds up to statewide. She found that women spend roughly $7 a month for an average of 40 years on hygiene products. That comes out to "over $20 million annually in taxes."

She recently introduced Assembly Bill 1561, which would end tampon taxes in California.

And in early March, five women filed a lawsuit against New York because "there is no way these products would be taxed if men had to use them."

They argue that products used by both genders — like Rogaine, adult diapers and dandruff shampoo — are not taxed, but tampons and sanitary pads, which are a medical necessity for women, are.

Chicago is one of the first cities in the nation to get rid of the tax. Illinois legislators are reportedly considering introducing a  bill that would remove the tax statewide.

Should Illinois adopt that bill, it would join five other states that have already killed the tampon tax: Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusetts.

This video includes footage from Procter & Gamble and an image from Getty Images.

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