RENO, Nev. (KOLO) It's estimated your average woman buys 20,000 or more feminine hygiene products, such as tampons and pads, in her lifetime.
Question Two on the Nevada ballot asks the voter:
“Shall the Sales and Use Tax Act of 19-55 be amended to provide an exemption from the taxes imposed by this Act on the gross receipts from the sale and the storage, use or other consumption of feminine hygiene products?”
This question was examined during Nevada's 2017 legislative session, when lawmakers were asked to consider and look at feminine hygiene products, and determine if tampons and pads could and should be part of other medical devices currently exempted from the Sales and Use Tax Act of 1955.
“The Centers for Disease Control considers these a medical device and they are a necessity and so they shouldn't be taxed under that framework,” says Eliza Cafferata, who is with Planned Parenthood Government Relations.
Planned Parenthood spoke in favor of Senate Bill 415 as lawmakers were considering exempting feminine hygiene products from state sales taxes. Senate Bill 415 passed the legislature, and was signed by the governor. But in order to seal the deal, the question has to be posed to Nevada voters.
If passed, the sales tax will be lifted off feminine hygiene products. But such passage means state coffers will have to go without roughly 5 to $7,000,000 annually. That's out of a nearly $4,000,000,000 state budget.
Currently this sales tax goes to local schools that would have to make up the money in another way.
The lifting of this sales tax exemption sunsets December 31, 2028.
A “No” vote means the sales tax on feminine hygiene products stays in place.
Nevada’s Department of Taxation could only give rough estimates on what Question Two would mean to the state budget. It considered the average girl or woman spend $7 to $10 a month on these products. The department says there are more than 860,000 girls and women in the age range in Nevada who use these products.
But the department could not break it down enough to know how many out-of- towners buy these products when they visit Nevada, nor how frequently they do so. The department does say it will not cost money to implement Question Two if passed by the voters.