Five months after five women filed a groundbreaking class-action suit to end the Tampon Tax in New York, Governor Cuomo has signed legislation ending the illegal tax.
“We are thrilled New York State is finally repealing this discriminatory tax on all ‘menstruators’ and hope the nation will swiftly follow suit. It’s about time we all recognize the necessity of menstruation products and the obsolescence of their taxation,” said Plaintiff Margo Seibert, an actress in New York.
“Albany has finally seen the light! There’s more work to be done to ease access to these vital products, particularly for low-income women, but repealing the tax was a great first step,” said Plaintiff Jennifer Moore, a children’s program coordinator.
“One state down, thirty-nine to go,” said Ilann M. Maazel, lead counsel for the plaintiffs. “This is a tremendous victory for women and for all New Yorkers. It will save women tens of millions of dollars. This lawsuit jumpstarted Albany into action. It’s the beginning of the end of the Tampon Tax in this country.”
“New York has finally stopped taxing women for being women. Now the governor should make sure that New York women who paid this sexist tax for years—especially those women who could least afford it—are compensated and reimbursed,” said Zoe Salzman, another lawyer for the women.
“From the time I entered law school 25 years ago, I’ve known that the tampon tax violated state and federal law. It’s a remnant of a time when all-male legislatures made decisions that devalued women’s interests. That New York State has finally ended this injustice is great cause for celebration,” said Laura Strausfeld, a lawyer who developed a critical theory of the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs.
The five women who brought the case are an actor/co-founder of Racket., a mathematician/data scientist, a programs coordinator for children’s programs, a photographer, and a professor.
The plaintiffs congratulate Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal for her leadership on this issue.
Read an interview with Zoe Salzman on the case and legislation here.