Governor Andrew Cuomo signed ban against taxes on menstruation products, which was approved when women were not in state legislator, bill sponsor said

Its a big day for #menstrualequity, New York city council member Julissa Ferreras wrote on Twitter.

On Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation banning the tampon tax a tax on menstruation products. The measure was approved by the state senate and assembly earlier this year.

Women statewide will no longer be burdened by a lingering tax that was levied at a time when women were not part of government and the decision-making process, said Linda B Rosenthal, the bills sponsor in the state assembly.

The legislation will exempt tampons, sanitary napkins and panty liners from state and local taxes. It will go into effect in the next sales tax quarter, reported the Associated Press.

According to the release, feminine hygiene products have been taxable since the first sales tax was instituted in New York in 1965, while other personal and medical products, including Rogaine, were exempt.

Rosenthal introduced the bill in May of last year. She and state senator Sue Serino, who introduced the bill in the state senate, began working on the measure to repeal the tax in February. Tampons are not a luxury item, full stop, Rosenthal said in a press release earlier this year.

Linda B. Rosenthal (@LindaBRosenthal) July 21, 2016

My bill repealing #tampontax signed into law! We just axed the tax! Good riddance to sexist tax. @jweisswolf @JulissaFerreras @RepGraceMeng

This is a regressive tax on essential products that women have had to pay for far too long and lifting it is a matter of social and economic justice, Cuomo said in a release.

Repealing the tax is expected to save women in New York $10m a year.

In March, five women filed a class action lawsuit against the state because of the tax. The New York Times editorial board called for its removal.

Earlier this month, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation making New York City the first city in the nation to offer free menstrual products in schools, prisons and shelters. Ferreras proposed the measure earlier this year.

Similar measures have been proposed in other states, including California and Illinois. Efforts in Utah to overturn the tampon tax was voted down by an all-male panel on the states tax committee.

Of states that have sales tax, only five others have chosen not to tax feminine hygiene products, according to Fusion. New York will make six.

Barack Obama told YouTuber Ingrid Nilsen in January that he did not know why these products were taxed.

I have no idea why states would tax these as luxury items, I suspect its because men were making the laws when those taxes were passed, the president said. He also said it was sensible for women to get those taxes removed.

Canada ended its tampon tax last year, though a tariff remains.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/21/new-york-lifts-tampon-tax

New York lifts ‘tampon tax’: ‘It is a matter of social and economic justice’
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