CHICO – For the Chico Natural Food Cooperative management team, eliminating the sales tax on menstrual products was child's play.
"The idea of paying a sales tax on menstrual products – this is unfair," said Joey Haney, brand coordinator for the local cooperative's grocery store.
"We consider menstrual products a necessity of life," he said.
Another no-brain was starting the project during Women & # 39; s History Month, and in time to celebrate International Women's Day, which was March 8th.
"We think a lot in the store how we can embody the values of egalitarianism," said Haney. "We wanted to do something important to celebrate it."
The store does not charge any sales tax, ie 7.25% in Chico and Oroville, until April 1st when it rises to 8.25% in Oroville, on any product related to menstruation. The new policy includes tampons, sanitary pads, menstrual cups, sponges or whatever, said Haney.
"Whatever the choice of that person, it should not be taxed," he said. "We didn't want to be guardians of this."
The movement to end the California sales tax on menstrual products has gained new momentum this year, as Congresswoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, has introduced legislation that will abolish it at the end of the year. Last year.
The proposed law 31 proposes to exempt tampons, menstrual sponges, sanitary towels and menstrual cups from taxes starting from 1 January 2020, as necessary elements.
The average woman is confronted with her period for more than 2,500 days of her life, and the phenomenon of women who usually pay more for various items is often known as the "pink tax" and in particular, pay a luxury tax on menstrual products it is known as the "tamper tax".
The AB31 language claims that every woman in California pays about $ 7 a month in taxes on these products for a period of 40 years, contributing about $ 20 million in revenue to the state each year.
Minnesota, Illinois, Nevada, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida and Ohio have outlawed the tampon tax in recent years, in a growing sign of supporting the idea that menstrual products a question of women's hygiene is needed and should not be considered a taxed "luxury" item. (In contrast, exclusively male objects, such as medicated condoms, are not taxed).
Meagan Dallas, a supervisor of the plan at the cooperative, said it is simply not right, and sees the new store policy as "a progressive movement for gender equality".
"We all had positive feedback, especially from women," he said. Some men also asked the staff about the new signs, he added, and generally supported the idea.
Dallas also said he saw some new customers in the cooperative, who came specifically to buy their menstrual products at the 818 Main St. Cooperative in Chico.
"It's something that is so important to women's health that it doesn't make sense that it wouldn't be considered necessary," Dallas said.
Haney said the practice won't stop even at the end of Women & # 39; s History Month.
"As long as there is sales tax, we will cover it," he said. "This is unfair and this is something we can do."