South Georgians react to Senate bill potentially ending “Pink Tax” on feminine products

Ga. Senate bill could lower the cost of feminine products
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 6:11 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Georgia lawmakers are introducing a new Senate bill that could cut back on what women have to pay for feminine products. Senate Bill 51 would eliminate the 4% state sales taxes on menstrual products like pads and tampons.

“Oh, my God. It would help so much; especially with the economy the way it is right now,” Jessica Tondee, an Albany resident, said.

Most medically necessary items are exempt from state sales taxes in Georgia.

Senate Bill 51 could eliminate a 4% sales tax on menstrual products like pads.
Senate Bill 51 could eliminate a 4% sales tax on menstrual products like pads.(WALB)

Tondee has two daughters and said within a month she spends over $50 on feminine products — an expense that she said some women can’t afford.

“I mean women are having to choose between feeding their families or buying what they need and that’s sad,” Tondee said.

According to the National Organization of Women, the average woman spends $20 on feminine products per menstrual cycle and that amount can change depending on a single woman’s menstrual flow. Georgia is 1 out of 22 states that currently charge sales tax on menstrual products.

Some residents agree with lawmakers that menstrual products are medically necessary for women and should not be viewed differently from other health products like Viagra.

“Being as these are products that every woman has to have to maintain their daily life. Even if it’s just a small percentage it can make a big difference in a lot of people’s lives,” Betsy Urick, a pharmacist at U Save It, said. “Menstrual products are something women really don’t have a choice of whether they need. It is medically necessary that they should be included in not having to pay additional sales tax.”

Some mothers said the proposed bill will help them avoid breaking the bank to provide for their families.

“It’s very expensive nowadays. Everything is going up. It would be a great help for us women to have at least that product for us available at a lower cost,” Elisha, an Albany resident, said.

It’s because of the 4% state sales tax on feminine products that are stopping donations from flowing into organizations like the Salvation Army.

Organizations like the Salvation Army are struggling to collect menstrual product donations.
Organizations like the Salvation Army are struggling to collect menstrual product donations.(WALB)

“In a day, we do not get many at all. Maybe on a monthly basis, we may get some of these types of products,” Salvation Army Social Services Manager, Alicia Anderson said.

The Salvation Army’s shelter is currently full of 22 women which means products are sure to go around and will likely run out if not kept supplied. With a cutback on the sales tax, Anderson said it would make a major difference in a resource they rely on.

“With the sales tax being off, we can get an increase in those donations and we’ll be able to help more women on a daily basis,” Anderson said.

Senate Bill 51 still has a long way to go before it makes it possibly makes it to Governor Brian Kemp’s desk. But with the push for changes to menstrual product prices, women are hopeful for a big change in their health care.