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Seattle considers study on exempting tampons from sales tax

Boxes of tampons are displayed in a pharmacy March 7, 2016, in New York. A bill received unanimous support in the Washington state Senate Saturday to remove sales tax from the purchase of menstrual products starting July 1. (Mark Lennihan / AP)
Boxes of tampons are displayed in a pharmacy March 7, 2016, in New York. A bill received unanimous support in the Washington state Senate Saturday to remove sales tax from the purchase of menstrual products starting July 1. (Mark Lennihan / AP)
Associated Press

SEATTLE – Seattle City Council members have thrown initial support behind a proposal that would study the possibility of exempting tampons and other menstrual hygiene products from the city’s portion of the sales tax.

The Seattle Times reported the statement of legislative intent proposed Tuesday by Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda as part of the city’s 2019 budget would request that Mayor Jenny Durkan’s administration “evaluate the feasibility of exempting menstrual hygiene products” through either city or state action.

A report would be due to the council in May 2019.

States such as Minnesota, Maryland and New York, and some countries, including Canada, have adopted various tax breaks for tampons and sanitary pads.

The idea is that menstrual hygiene products, like prescription drugs and food items, are necessities and therefore should not be taxed. Washington exempts prescription drugs and most food items from the sales tax.

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