Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2016 – 6:50 PM
(AFP) California Governor Jerry Brown has come under fire for refusing to support legislation that would have scrapped sales taxes on tampons and diapers.
Citing concerns about cost, Brown on Tuesday rejected a bill to repeal the so-called “tampon tax,” drawing criticism from state lawmakers who had pushed for the measure.
“Today’s lesson: my uterus should carry the burden of fiscal responsibility for the state. Thank goodness GovBrown is around to #mansplain it,” tweeted assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, who authored the bill.
The California measure was part of a growing international campaign to do away with taxes on sanitary products for women on grounds they are necessities and should be treated the same way as other essential items such as food and water.
Similar bills were approved earlier this year in New York and Illinois.
The California measure had unanimously been approved last month by lawmakers but Brown vetoed it along with several other bills saying the state could not afford the estimated $300 million in lost revenue.
“Each of these bills creates a new tax break or expands an existing tax break,” Brown said in rejecting the bills.
“As I said last year, tax breaks are the same as new spending,” he added.
Lawmakers rejected his argument, with some suggesting that a wiser approach would be to tax candy, soda and snacks.
“If you had to tax something, and it had to be candy or tampons and diapers, which would you choose?,” assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez was quoted as saying by the Los Angeles Times.
The movement to do away with the “tampon tax” has been gaining traction in recent years and Canada and Ireland are among nations that have scrapped the tax.
In Britain, the government was subjected to a furious backlash when it upheld a five percent tampon tax last year. It subsequently announced it would give millions of pounds raised from the levy to women’s charities.
French lawmakers voted last December to reduce the tax rate on women’s sanitary products from 20 percent to 5.5 percent.
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