‘Tampon tax’ could be on way out

%27Tampon+tax%27+could+be+on+way+out

By Hal Dardick, Chicago Tribune

The Chicago portion of the sales tax on tampons and sanitary pads would be eliminated next year under a proposal endorsed Friday by the City Council Finance Committee, which could be the first step in getting rid of the entire 10.25 percent sales tax on feminine hygiene products.

MORE: Illinois’ “tampon tax” causes debate

If approved Wednesday by the full council as expected, the city’s 1.25 percent sales tax would be removed. Similar measures have been proposed by state lawmakers and Cook County commissioners. The state sales tax is 6.25 percent, and the county’s is 1.75 percent. The Regional Transportation Authority charges an additional 1 percent.

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In eliminating the tax, Illinois would be joining other states that already have done so or are considering it. New York City also is considering eliminating the tax.

City finance officials said eliminating the tax would cost the city about $500,000 a year. The state estimates it would reduce revenue by about $14.7 million.

Aldermen Leslie Hairston, 5th, and Edward Burke, 14th, proposed its elimination, saying the tax is discriminatory, because other “medical necessities” are not taxed by the city.

After a representative for the Illinois Retail Merchants Association expressed concern about differing effective dates for sales tax eliminations, Burke agreed to change the city effective date to January 2017.

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