Virginians could pay less for diapers, tampons next year

Virginians could pay less for diapers, tampons next year
A bill is on the governor's desk that reduces the sales tax on personal hygiene products.

Virginia won’t be joining other states that have already repealed the so-called “tampon tax” quite yet. But next year, both tampons and diapers could at least be a little cheaper.

As a delegate, now-Sen. Jennifer Boysko, D-Loudoun, had tried twice to exempt menstrual products from the state’s sales and use tax, and this year her renewed effort was semi-successful.

Her legislation was adjusted to match a bill sponsored by Del. Kathy Byron, R-Bedford, that reduces the sales tax on personal hygiene products — including items ranging from tampons and sanitary napkins to diapers and disposable undergarments — to 1.5 percent, matching Virginia’s tax on food, starting in 2020.

Both the House and Senate passed the legislation, and it is now awaiting the governor’s signature.

In an email, Byron said solely repealing the sales tax on menstrual products would be discriminatory and have a big impact on the state budget. She had researched other options, and said the proposal she settled on is “fair and equitable.”

Boysko said she was happy with the bipartisan compromise, and particularly pleased that items like diapers will have a reduced tax.

The Virginia Mercury is a new, nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization covering Virginia government and policy.