Texas Tampon Tax is Now Eliminated

The new sales tax exemption for feminine hygiene products in Texas, known as the 'tampon tax,' is now effective. Here's what it means for you.

Feminine hygiene products on shelf in supermarket
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Texas tampon tax is finally eliminated. That means Texans no longer pay state sales tax on menstrual products, such as tampons and sanitary pads. Texas is the 25th state to eliminate sales tax on feminine hygiene products, also sometimes referred to as the "pink tax" or "tampon tax."

Although the legislation was finalized in June, efforts to eliminate the pink tax in Texas began last year when several state lawmakers voiced support for the proposal. 

“Every woman knows that these products are not optional. They are essential to our health and well-being and should be tax exempt,” Texas Senate Committee on Finance chairwoman Sen. Joan Huffman said in a release last year.

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What is the Texas 'tampon tax'? 

The tampon tax or "period tax" refers to the sales tax on the already high price of tampons. Tampons are taxed by some states as luxury goods, even though millions of menstruating women consider tampons to be necessities. The tampon tax is a form of "pink tax." The pink tax also sometimes refers to sales tax on women’s menstrual products. But the term can also apply to products traditionally marketed to women at higher prices than similar products designed for or primarily marketed to men. 

Until now, menstrual products were considered luxury items in Texas. However, a Texas sales tax relief bill passed earlier this year recognizes these products as essentials. Under the new legislation, effective September 1, 2023, the following types of products are exempt from the state’s 6.25% sales tax rate.

  • Tampons and sanitary napkins
  • Menstrual sponges and menstrual pads
  • Any items similar to those above “for the principal purpose of feminine hygiene in connection with the menstrual cycle or postpartum care”

What other states are getting rid of the pink tax? 

Texas is the only state to finalize its tampon tax legislation so far this year. However, lawmakers in several other states have proposed eliminating sales tax on period products and haven't yet succeeded.

These include Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia.

Tampon tax history 

Eliminating sales taxes on menstrual products has become more common in recent years. Including Texas, 25 states have made menstrual products tax-exempt. According to the Alliance for Period Supplies, nine states passed sales tax exemptions in 2021 and 2022 alone. 

  • Vermont, Maine, Michigan, Louisiana, and New Mexico passed legislation to exempt menstrual products in 2021.
  • Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia banned the pink tax in 2022.

However, banning sales tax on women’s hygiene products isn't a new concept.  

  • Minnesota eliminated sales tax on tampons in 1981 when health products were made tax-exempt. 
  • Pennsylvania became the second to stop taxing tampons in 1991. 
  • New Jersey joined the list in 2005. 
  • Since 2016, the list of states without a pink tax has grown every year. 

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Katelyn Washington
Tax Writer

Katelyn has more than 6 years’ experience working in tax and finance. While she specializes in tax content, Katelyn has also written for digital publications on topics including insurance, retirement and financial planning and has had financial advice commissioned by national print publications. She believes that knowledge is the key to success and enjoys helping others reach their goals by providing content that educates and informs.