Hamilton: House GOP still favors taxes on tampons

March 20, 2017 Carey Hamilton

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House Republicans today rejected an effort by State Rep. Carey Hamilton (D-Indianapolis) to eliminate the state sales tax for feminine hygiene products.

Hamilton offered a proposal to exempt the item from the sales tax as an amendment to Senate Bill 440, only to see the House Republicans vote it down.

“The economic reality for Hoosier women is not great,” Hamilton said. “Nearly 20 percent of the women and children in our state live below the poverty line. Every cent a mother saves on her own necessities is money she can spend on necessities for her children.

“This exemption would have represented a small but relatively easy way for us to help Hoosier women and their families,” she continued. “It also sends a message that we respect and support women.

“Today in Indiana, we have deemed a wide range of items as tax-exempt – retread tires, property consumed in commercial printing, aviation fuel, airplane sales, food, blood monitors, and even prescriptions for items like Viagra and Propecia,” Hamilton said. “Feminine hygiene products are among the most basic necessities to provide health care for women. I cannot see why these items should not be exempt from the state sales tax.”

Hamilton’s predecessor in office, former State Rep. Christina Hale (D-Indianapolis), offered a similar proposal last year, only to meet the same resistance from House Republicans. Hamilton said she decided to follow suit after discussing the issue with a constituent.

“A growing number of states have passed exemptions of this type, including Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania,” Hamilton noted.

“Too often in this Legislature, we find ourselves focused on big items that end up helping only the rich and powerful. Today, we had a chance to send a powerful message that we do care about the every-day lives of women and their families across Indiana. I am disappointed that we did not take action on this proposal today, but I feel the debate is just beginning.”