Aldermen Ed Burke (14th ward) and Leslie Hairston (5th) proposed an ordinance in City Council today that would waive the city's "discriminatory" tax on tampons, pads and other feminine hygiene products, and according to a DNAinfo report, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is on board.
The text of the legislation proposes that "certain female products categorized as 'medical appliances' in a previous court case and exempt from sales tax now be included as feminine hygiene products." Medical appliances, like groceries and drugs, are exempted from the 10.25 percent city sales tax. Burke and Hairston also introduced a resolution that would ask the Illinois General Assembly to lower the state sales tax on the feminine hygiene products from 6.25 percent to 1 percent.
The proposed city ordinance follows on the heels of a similar bill introduced last month in California's state legislature, the idea being that because such products should be considered "necessities," taxing them amounts to an unfair burden on women, especially poor women. Mayor Emanuel, according to DNAinfo, said "I think it's the right thing to do, an appropriate thing for us to look at."