Wilson bill to end state tax on menstrual products passes Legislature

OLYMPIA… The largest tax cut of the 2020 legislative session belongs to Sen. Lynda Wilson now that her bill to end the tax on menstrual products is headed to the governor’s desk. Senate Bill 5147 was approved on a 95-2 vote by the House of Representatives this afternoon, following its unanimous passage Saturday by the Senate.

“This is great news for the women of Washington, who now will get to keep the more than 3 million dollars they’ve been paying in tax each year on medically necessary products,” said Wilson, R-Vancouver. “Besides being the biggest tax reduction passed by the Legislature, it’s probably the best example of fairness and equity to come out of Olympia this year.”

Wilson introduced the idea in 2016, while still serving in the House, and brought it with her after becoming a senator the following year. SB 5147 won support from the Senate health-care committee in 2019 but stalled in the budget committee. Then state-revenue projections began to soar, and so did the bill’s chances.

“When there’s a surplus of 1.5 billion dollars, it’s hard for anyone to justify continuing a tax as discriminatory as this,” said Wilson. “It’s especially unfair to women who are low-income or experiencing homelessness, and all the work on this bill has been worth it for their sake alone.”

Washington will become the 18th state to end the tax on menstrual products, she added, noting the work of the national advocacy group PERIOD and its “Tampon Taskforce” to raise awareness about how the tax is inequitable.