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New York Will End Its Tampon Tax

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign into law a bill to repeal the sales tax on tampons.

Posted on April 12, 2016, at 4:05 p.m. ET

Pxhidalgo / Getty Images

New York is about to become the latest state to repeal its sales tax on tampons.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign Bill S6726 into law exempting feminine hygiene products, including tampons and sanitary napkins, from being taxed.

"We've said we'd work with the Legislature to repeal this tax and applaud their action," Dani Lever, a spokesperson for Cuomo, told BuzzFeed News.

The New York Senate passed the legislation on Monday.

"To consider that we exempt cupcakes and circus performances from the sales tax in New York State, but not sanitary napkins and tampons — products women depend on — is beyond comprehension," Senator Susan Serino, who sponsored the bill, said in a state senate press release. "Today, the Senate took a significant step forward in finally applying common sense to our out-of-touch tax laws."

Other states, including Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, have already passed similar legislation to end the tampon tax, the press release said.

While medicines and medical equipment were exempt from the sales tax, cosmetics and toiletry items were excluded from the list unless they contained medicinal ingredients. Feminine hygiene products were among those considered taxable under state law, "despite being a necessity for women," the state senate said.

In March, five women had filed a lawsuit against the state's tax department to end the tampon tax, seeking "refunds for millions of women targeted by the illegal sales tax."

"It's time for New York to stop taxing women for being women," Ilann M. Maazel, the women's lawyer, had said in a statement.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.