CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A group of lawmakers are calling for the end of state sales tax on menstrual products.
“Actually, I did not know, and honestly after hearing it, it’s actually crazy,” Chantel Avery said.
Feminine products line shelves at stores across Charlotte, but what you see on the price tag is not what you are paying at the cash register.
“It’s messed up because this is a natural thing for us and why are we being taxed for doing something natural?” Mikayla Deese said.
In North Carolina, menstrual products are taxed 4.75 percent. According to lawmakers, the state collects about $5.5 million a year from those taxes.
“So, it is .0007 percent of our total revenue, so it’s a really small amount,” Rep. Julie von Haefen said.
Rep. Haefen is a sponsor of the Menstrual Equity Act, a piece of legislation that would exempt feminine hygiene products like tampons, pads, and menstrual cups from state sales tax.
“Having your period is not a luxury. They are medically necessary so, that’s why I feel like removing the tax is really important,” Haefen said.
The bill would also extend funding to schools so feminine products could be given out for free.
According to the organization Period, the uses educations and service to fight menstrual poverty, nearly a quarter of U.S. students struggle to afford feminine products, leading to absences.
“What that’s doing is creating this distinct level on inequality in education for students who menstruate compared to those who don’t,” Period spokesperson Ameer Abdul said.
Deese said she had seen it firsthand.
“At a young age, it is embarrassing when you see another girl go through this traumatizing event by not wearing her pad or wearing her tampon because she can’t afford it or it’s not available to her.It’s not fair at all,” Deese said.