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Nevada Could Soon Nix "Pink Tax"

A picture of feminine hygiene products on store shelf.
By Stilfehler from Wikimedia Commons
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Common feminine hygiene products in stores.

Voters may soon decide whether to eliminate the sales tax on feminine hygiene products. KUNR’s Anh Gray has more.

Ballot question 2 passed through the Nevada legislature in 2017. Essentially, the measure would repeal what’s called, “the pink tax,” eliminating the sales tax on tampons and sanitary napkins. To become law, it must now pass through a voter referendum.

Precious Hall is a political science professor at Truckee Meadows Community College. She says proponents of the legislation argue that hygiene supplies aren’t luxury items that should be taxed.

“These are not products that women can live without,” Hall explains. “So for example, we don’t tax food, obviously people need food, they have to eat, they need nourishment; these are products that women need as well, so to put that tax on there, really kind of puts them at a burden when it comes to taking care of things that they need.”

But opponents of the measure disagree. Hall says that they’re concerned it would shrink the tax base.

“And, this is with anytime you talk about eliminating a tax on any good or any product, it will mean less money at the end of the day in our reserves,” Hall says. “And you also have the question of fairness, ‘well if we cut back on this particular product and we lose money, how are we going to make up for that? How are we going to shoulder the burden for that?’”

According to the fiscal note on the measure, the financial impact on the state could be between $72 and $104 million annually. Several states have moved to repeal taxes on feminine hygiene products.

A few others, including Nevada, have pending legislation this year that could do the same.

Anh is a contributing editor for the KUNR news team and has been with the station since 2014. She is an alumna of the Boston University School of Public Health and Teachers College, Columbia University.
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