Although the list of items exempted from sales tax in Rhode Island is extensive and disparate, including horse food products and promotional literature for boat manufacturers, one class of product was noticeably absent and thus subjected to this tax: feminine hygiene products. In fact, Rhode Island law treated them as “luxury items.” We testified in support of legislation which added feminine hygiene products to the items exempted from sales taxes. As these products are purchased predominantly by women, the practical result was a sex-based tax on items that, we feel confident saying, no Rhode Island woman views as a luxury. Independent of these pieces of legislation, the repeal of the “Tampon Tax” was incorporated into and passed with the FY 2020 budget.
Tampon Tax (H 5307, S 49)
Representative Edith Ajello and Senator Louis DiPalma