Cook County's 'tampon tax' is dead

Cook County commissioners Richard Boykin and Deborah Sims passed legislation Wednesday to nix the feminine hygiene tax, also known as the "tampon tax," within county limits.

The city and county legislative bodies voted to reclassify feminine products from "luxury items" to "items of medical necessity."

The previous tax code classified tampons and sanitary napkins as luxury items, meaning they were taxed 10.25 percent prior to the new legislation.

“This Women's History Month, we in the Chicago City Council and Cook County Board of Commissioners are advancing legislation that would create parity in our taxation system by exempting all feminine hygiene products from sales tax,” Boykin said in a statement. “As most women will attest, the monthly biological cycle that necessitates the procurement of feminine hygiene products is far from a luxury. And the additional tax that currently accompanies such items is disproportionately burdensome for low-income women.”

The previous tax rate included a 6.25 percent state tax, a 1.75 percent county tax, and a one percent RTA tax, along with the city’s 1.25 percent.

By rescinding these levies, it is estimated that Illinois taxpayers who buy feminine hygiene and incontinence products could see a $14.7 million sales tax reduction.

Boykin also urged the state of Illinois to follow the county's  lead in eliminating the luxury tax from feminine hygiene products.