In a legislative hearing Tuesday, Tennessee lawmaker (R) John Hensley questioned a proposal that would make tampons tax exempt during his state’s tax-free holiday period. The GOP legislator explained that if the tax is lifted, women might go willy-nilly in purchasing the hygienic necessity.
Hensley said “there’s really no limit on the number of items anybody can purchase” and doesn’t know how you could limit the number of items.
Including feminine hygiene products in Tennessee’s three-day tax exempt weekend, which happens at the end of July, is an extension of legislative efforts to lift the state’s 7% sales tax on menstrual products. Advocates of a bill to make that change estimate women in The Volunteer State spend $120 a year on tampons and pads. Tennessee brings in roughly $133,000 by taxing those necessities.
Some of the items exempt in the tax-free holiday are computers, bow ties, bowling shirts, cowboy boots, leg warmers, ponchos and religious clothing. Other items include aerobic clothing, baby diapers, and bandanas.
Democratic Sen. Brenda Gilmore said some women in the state are so poor that they use rags and clothing instead of tampons and endure the humiliation.