COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD)- South Carolina House lawmakers voted Wednesday to remove the state’s so-called period tax, boosting efforts to make menstrual products more accessible and affordable.
H.3563 amends state law to exempt feminine hygiene products, including tampons, pads, and other items used for the menstrual cycle, from sales tax.
The measure passed by a unanimous 114-0 vote. Some lawmakers were either not present or did not vote.
The bill’s sponsor Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D-Orangeburg) called it a “great day in South Carolina” after the bill’s passage.
“It’s an idea whose time has come,” she said in a message posted to Twitter. “I am thrilled that the bill had bipartisan support.”
If passed, South Carolina would join 22 other states and Washington, D.C. that do not charge sales tax on period products.
According to the National Organization on Women, the average woman spends about $20 on feminine hygiene products each cycle. South Carolina’s standard 6% sales tax rate adds a few dollars each month to the cost of these necessities.
“Our elected House Representatives showed up in support of women, girls, and menstruating individuals in South Carolina,” Karen Culbreath-Dudley, executive director of the Period Project said. “Today we are closer to positively impacting the lives of those suffering with Period Poverty. The removal of the sales tax on menstrual health supplies is a critical financial component to support healthy families in South Carolina.”
The bill must now head to the state Senate for a vote before reaching the Governor’s desk for signature.