CVS will pay the “pink tax” and lower the prices of serial products
Primary CVS Pharmacy locations will pay the so-called “pink tax” on vintage CVS Health-branded products for its customers. The policy, which began in early October, is part of the company’s efforts to help eliminate pink tax and tampon tax nationwide and help tackle period poverty. The pharmacy chain will also reduce the price of CVS-branded menstrual products by 25%, according to an announcement posted on the company’s website.
When possible, states where CVS says (opens in a new tab) it will pay customer sales tax on select vintage products including Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
What does this mean for you? If you buy CVS Health branded menstrual products, including tampons, sanitary napkins, cups, and panty liners in any of these twelve states, you won’t have to pay sales tax on them. this. In addition, the price of these menstrual and feminine products at major CVS pharmacies will be lower than what you have seen recently.
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What is the pink tax?
Pink tax generally refers to state sales tax on menstrual products, such as tampons and sanitary napkins. These products are necessities for many women, but many states tax women’s products as luxury items, while exempting other necessities, such as groceries and medications, from sales tax.
And, since men don’t typically pay the same high prices for their personal care items (and feminine products are designed for women), the extra cost on feminine products has been dubbed “the pink tax.” Why pink? Well, pink is the color often used by manufacturers to market and brand products designed for women.
Over the years, advocacy organizations have pointed to other instances of the pink tax, for example, higher dry cleaning costs for women’s clothing. Another example is the higher cost and often smaller sizes of products like women’s razors, shampoos and deodorants, compared to the cost and size of personal care products designed for men.
What is the stamp tax? You may also have heard the term “tampon tax”. Stamp tax also refers to the sales tax on the already high price of stamps. Like other menstrual products, tampons are frequently taxed as luxury goods, even though millions of menstruating women see tampons as necessities.
The cost of tampons (and other feminine hygiene products), plus applicable state sales tax, which can be over 9% when combined with local taxes in some states, puts the products out of reach of many women and girls. Additionally, due to inflation and supply shortages, the cost of a box of tampons has reportedly increased by almost 10% this year. The cost of a pack of sanitary napkins has also increased by just over 8%, according to an analysis by NielsenIQ.
Menstrual poverty: what is it?
The high and rising costs of menstrual products have led to an epidemic of “period poverty” – where it is estimated that one in four women and girls cannot afford menstrual products.
This lack of access to essential feminine hygiene products during menstruation often means that girls and women miss school and work or cannot fully participate in other important activities. Period poverty affects millions of women and studies show that struggling to afford menstrual products, or not having them, can negatively affect social, emotional and menstrual health.
How many states have a stamp tax?
The Alliance for Period Supplies reports that twenty-two states currently levy a sales tax on feminine products. Five other states (i.e. Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon) have no sales tax. Twenty-three other states and the District of Columbia do not charge sales tax on vintage goods.
Also, this year, when women’s rights were in the spotlight, the legislatures of Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia voted to eliminate taxes on menstrual products or reduce sales tax. on these products.
The Colorado and Iowa laws went into effect earlier this year. New laws that effectively eliminate sales tax on menstrual products in Nebraska and Virginia will go into effect January 1, 2023.
Virginia previously taxed period products. But state lawmakers decided three years ago to classify the products as necessities, subjecting them to a lower sales tax rate. Earlier this year, the Virginia legislature eliminated its sales tax on essential items, effectively eliminating Virginia’s tampon tax.
And in September, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill banning gender-based pricing in the state. Under the new law, California companies are prohibited from setting higher prices for similar products simply because those products are marketed to women. Proponents of the new law hope it will end California’s pink tax.