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Activists push the state to eliminate tax on menstrual products

Activists push state end tax on menstrual products

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Women from across Indiana are calling on lawmakers to get rid of the state’s tax on menstrual products.

Some made their voices heard during a rally at the statehouse Wednesday.

Event organizers said they’re pushing to eliminate the tampon tax so that feminine care products are more accessible to all women.

“It’s quite unfortunate that we continue to tax our period products, even though this is a natural thing for women, so I am here to support the movement,” said Mary Kiura, a Fort Wayne resident.

According to the Alliance for Period Supplies, Indiana is one of 21 states to charge sales tax on period products.

MADVoters, a social welfare nonprofit organization that seeks to advance equitable efforts in Indiana through education, outreach, and advocacy, wants to change that, despite its small momentum at the statehouse.

“We’re confident that if it would just be given a chance in the hearing, it would have bipartisan support, because who doesn’t want to support women and children, because by extension, periods affect women, children, and families,” said Kaitie Rector, a co-founder of MADVoters.

MADVoters said Indiana women pay $5.6 million annually in sales tax for those necessities.

“Our mission is equity, fairness in Indiana, and when you’ve got half of Hoosiers having to pay taxes on necessary products, but then you can go and buy a Twix bar, that’s not fair,” said Rector.

Kiura said the price tags hit women of color the most.

Kiura said it’s a costly tax that keeps them from other essential activities.

“The period product tax continues to eat to their income, which leaves them with less net income to spend on other basic factors they need to be spending on,” said Kiura.

Democrat State Senator Shelli Yoder said period products aren’t luxury items for women, and there isn’t a reason to keep the tax.

News 8 reached out to republican legislators for comments, but have yet to hear back.

“For the state of Indiana, it’s not a lot of money, and the number of conversations that we have had in this statehouse over the last couple of years over a rainy day fund that is plentiful, and that fact that we continue to tax the ability for people to engage society is outrageous,” said Yoder.

Event organizers told News 8 they are hopeful that the tampon tax will be eliminated sooner rather than later.