The Problem: Wisconsin’s sales tax system is riddled with inconsistencies and occasionally with discrimination. All products are deemed to be subject to the Wisconsin sales tax unless they are specifically exempted by law.  To date, general hygiene products like toilet paper and wipes have not been exempted from the state sales tax. Feminine hygiene products are also subject to the sales tax but the burden of the sales tax on these items is borne by just one sex.  According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the sales taxes on feminine hygiene products cost women and girls in Wisconsin a total of $15.5 million each year ($14.3 million in state sales taxes and $1.2 million in county and stadium sales taxes.)

 

The Solution: In general in Wisconsin, we don’t tax necessities like food and medical supplies, and we should not have a sales tax on other hygiene necessities. Therefore, the state should eliminate the sales tax on feminine hygiene products like tampons, sanitary napkins, adult diapers and undergarments for incontinence. In fact, legislators might want to go further and eliminate the sales tax on all hygiene products including items like toilet paper and wipes. 

Resources: 

  1. 2021 AB 680: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2021/proposals/reg/asm/bill/ab680
  2. https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/25/wisconsin-legislator-aims-get-rid-states-tampon-tax/99222076/

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