Tampon tax bill clears first hurdle in legislature

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DENVER — A bill that would exempt tampons and other feminine hygiene products from sales tax passed the House Finance Committee on Monday on a 7-6 vote.

The bill was introduced by State Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver, and aims to repeal sales taxes on tampons, essentially lowering the price on products that Lontine said are essential to a woman’s health.

“This is a necessary bodily function that women can’t choose to have — it happens whether we want it or not,” Lontine said late last year.

Lontine also mentioned the designation of tampons and sanitary products as subject to state sales tax was made at a time when there were few female legislators. Today, 39 percent of Colorado state legislators are female.

A tax exemption would mean Colorado would lose roughly $1.2 million in revenue. Colorado is one of 37 states that still tax menstrual cycle hygiene products.

The bill will next be heard in the House Appropriations Committee.