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Co-op News | Winter Quarterly 2020

Necessity Tax

Kiya Villarreal, Sustainability Officer

Your shopping trips may be positively affected by the new necessity tax-exemptions taking effect in 2020. The exemptions now cover all menstrual products and child diapers. There currently is not a universal tax-related definition of what is considered a necessity good, thus necessity tax exemptions vary by state. We would like to acknowledge California for creating a more realistic definition of the word “necessity” that includes diapers, which are needed by all children for years, and menstrual products including tampons, pads, menstrual sponges and menstrual cups, also regularly needed for a considerable portion of a menstruating persons’ life. You may be surprised to learn 34 states still tax menstrual products as a luxury good. 

We should note that these California tax exemptions are currently only valid for a 2-year period. The new tax exemptions are in effect as of January 1. To learn more about the campaigns to permanently stop menstrual products being taxed as a luxury good, visit 

For lengthier reads, check out this book list provided by the independent editorial site Book Riot 

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