BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — Governor Newsom has proposed the removal of sales tax on diapers for children and all feminine products. The announcement comes as a win for women in state legislature who have been advocating to remove these taxes, stating that they are not a luxury item.
The governor is calling this the Parents Agenda to help ease finances.
Robin Walters, co-executive director for Womens March Kern County, says this week is a win for gender equality.
“This is a small step toward the goal and sometimes progress is sometimes slow,” said Walters.
Walters says her goal is for gender equality, where women are not discriminated and taxed because of their gender
“With the menstrual products that’s a luxury tax. Menstrual products can be hardly considered a luxury,” said Walters. “We don’t tax Viagra for that so it's hard to say why we were taxing menstrual products.”
Governor Newsom announced this week his support for two separate bills which would eliminate all sales taxes on diapers and menstrual products.
“This is a deep agenda here and I hope you are hearing it,” added Newsom. “It's an agenda on affordability, and the cost crisis and an agenda to support parents.”
However, in 2016, a similar bill was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown, stating that it would cost the state too much.
The tax exemptions are estimated to cost California $55 million in lost revenue.
Newsom attributes the menstrual sales tax change to Democrat Assembly member for Bell Gardens, Cristina Garcia.
“This discussion hasn’t been in vain,” said Garcia. “I have heard from young girls who tell me that they use socks or newspaper or that they miss school. I heard from women that they don’t go to work when they can't afford these products. Or they leave these products in their bodies longer then they should and end up sick.”
The other bill by assembly woman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), deals with eliminating the tax for diapers.
“We know that this tax break will give average family in California $100 to $120 a year per child, or enough to diaper a child for a full month,” said Gonzalez.
Both bills will continue to move through the legislative process until the budget is signed in June.