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News / City Life

Tampon tax struck down in unanimous City Council vote

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Wikimedia Commons

Chicago's City Council put a ban on taxing tampons on Wednesday in a unanimous vote, DNAinfo Chicago reports. All 46 alderman voted to redesignate "feminine products" as "medical necessities," making tampons and pads exempt from Chicago's standard 10.25 percent sales tax rate, which is also the highest sales tax in the nation.

The City Council has urged the Illinois General Assembly to adopt legislation. Tampons and pads are still subject to taxation, however. As medical necessities, they'll have a 1 percent tax, similar to blood pressure kits and thermometers, according to the resolution.

The measure was introduced on February 10 by aldermen Ed Burke (14th ward) and Leslie Hairston (5th). 

Interestingly enough, the Illinois Supreme Court held that tampons should be taxed as "medical appliances" in Geary v. Dominick's Finer Foods, Inc., a court case dating back to 1989, and be exempt from Chicago's tax code. This decision was then remanded to the Cook County Circuit Court.