Lawsuit aims to remove tax on tampons, feminine hygiene products

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS DESK) - We might take it for granted when things like band aids, lip balms, and cough drops are tax exempt. Women around the state are now asking for the same treatment when it comes to feminine products, that they say are necessary to live healthy lives.

Florida has a tampon tax, and now a Hillsborough County woman has filed a lawsuit looking to get rid of it.

"Female sanitary products, tampons, pads, stuff like that, used almost exclusively for women, are taxed and have been taxed," Dana Brooks, one of the attorney's representing the plaintiff, said. "And so we feel like that is discriminatory on its face, it obviously effects women disproportionately."

Three state agencies have been named in the suit as well as Walmart, Walgreens, Target, Publix, and CVS.

Barbara Devane with the National Organization for Women supports the lawsuit. She says it's absurd that tampons are being taxed and other products aren't.

"If can exempt bunion pads, why not menstrual pads?" she said. "Petroleum jelly, wart removers, and for heaven's sake, ostrich feed. There are more women than ostriches in the state of Florida."

The class action suit is seeking money for women who have bought the products in the past three years.

The attorney in the lawsuit said she hopes the legislature will act and repeal the tax.

The New Work state legislature recently repealed the tax on feminine hygiene products, and California has a similar lawsuit pending.