As of January 1 and effective through December 31, 2021, Californians don’t have to pay sales tax on menstrual hygiene products like tampons, menstrual cups and sanitary pads, or on diapers for infants, toddlers or children.
Senate Bill 92 was authored by Assemblywomen Christina Garcia of Bell Gardens and Loran Gonzalez of San Diego and signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom last June. Garcia and Gonzalez have tried to pass similar legislation for years but were unsuccessful. In 2016, then-Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation, and a 2017 proposal died in a legislative committee.
“It’s just common sense that we shouldn’t tax life necessities like diapers and tampons, and every dollar we can save parents . . . is critical,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez said in a statement. “We need our tax system to reflect our values.” Gonzalez said the diaper tax repeal will save the average family $100 a year per child.
California joins at least nine other states that have repealed taxing menstrual products, arguing that such a tax violates Equal Protection clauses since menstrual products are not a choice for women. California state code already exempts health products like walkers and prescription drugs, including Viagra.
Anyone who believes they’ve been wrongfully taxed on diapers or menstrual products can request a refund by bringing their receipt to the retailer and a copy of the notice from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, found at www.cdtfa.ca.gov.