OLYMPIA — The sales tax would be removed from the purchase of menstrual products starting July 1, under a bill that received unanimous support in the Senate on Saturday.
Sometimes called a "pink tax," because it's a product used only by women, or the "feminine hygiene product tax," the bill removes the sales tax with the start of the state's fiscal year. Around the country, 32 states have repealed or have bills to repeal those taxes, said Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver.
"If somebody had told me six years ago I'd be standing on the Senate floor talking about menstrual products, I'd've told them they're crazy," said Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, the bill's sponsor.
But about five years ago, people began approaching her about the pink taxes, which only women pay because they're on products "guys just don't use."
An analysis by state agencies estimates removing the tax will reduce state revenue by $4.1 million in the coming fiscal year, and about $9.4 million in the 2021-23 biennium.
"We need to pass this bill. It's the right thing to do. Period," Wilson said.
The bill was sent to the House, which has until Thursday, the scheduled end of the 2020 legislative session, to pass it.