HomeSouth CarolinaSouth Carolina poised to scrap sales tax on feminine hygiene products

South Carolina poised to scrap sales tax on feminine hygiene products

Columbia, South Carolina – A proposal to remove state and local sales taxes from feminine hygiene products is now awaiting Gov. Henry McMaster’s signature. The South Carolina State Senate gave unanimous approval to this legislation on Tuesday, following its passage in the House in 2023. The state already exempts items like dry cleaning materials, plants used in zoos, and amusement park components from taxes.

Ashley Lidow of the South Carolina Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network (SC WREN) expressed that this tax exemption would significantly benefit women, girls, and their families throughout South Carolina. She emphasized the challenges faced by those without access to menstrual products. According to Lidow, one in four young adults has skipped school because they lacked these products, and one in five adults has missed work for the same reason.

She recounted testimonies of people resorting to alternatives like socks to manage their periods so they could attend school or work, or else having to stay home. A financial impact study shows that by making these products tax-exempt, local governments could lose around $1.4 million annually, with the state potentially seeing a reduction of approximately $6 million each year in tax revenue.

“It depends on how much product you may need for your household on the actual cost savings it would be to remove 6 percent from that,” Lidow explained. “But if you think about inflation and the way all of our grocery prices are going up, every single dollar matters.”

Read also: City of Columbia to host Touch-A-Truck event on May 4

Senators Katrina Shealy and Margie Bright Matthews highlighted the key role played by women legislators in pushing through this legislation. Senator Shealy, representing Lexington County, emphasized that the women put significant effort into advocating for this cause, which also includes a $7 million tax reduction.

Senator Bright Matthews from Colleton County pointed out the essential nature of feminine products, noting their importance to women and girls, including college students and those with limited financial means, emphasizing that it’s not a choice whether to use these products or not.

Read also: Millions in pandemic food benefits face expiry next month in South Carolina

To date, 22 states along with Washington, D.C., have enacted similar legislation.

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