Ohio one step closer to eliminating "Pink Tax"

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(TOLEDO)-WTVG Ohio is one step closer to joining ten other states and several nations, in eliminating the so-called "pink tax."

That's the sales tax on tampons and menstruation products estimated to cost Ohio women more than $4 million a year.

Currently, menstruation products in Ohio are taxed the same as "luxury items". Supporters argue they should be deemed "medically necessary" and therefore, tax free.

Wednesday, the Ohio House passed House Bill 545 which now heads to the Senate.

The bill mainly revises sales tax issues for small businesses but it includes an amendment "to exempt from sales and use tax tampons and other feminine hygiene products associated with menstruation."

The exemption started life as a different bill co-sponsored by Cincinnati Democrat Brigid Kelly. The amendment was added to H.B. 545 by its sponsor, Port Clinton Republican Steven Arndt.

Kelly told 13abc the bill "is a real, tangible way that we can make medically necessary products more accessible to women and girls all throughout the state of Ohio."

Kelly believes this is the third time that similar legislation has been introduced in Ohio. "The third time may be the charm. But if not, this is something we're really committed to working on, both in the short term and over the long term, because we think this is really important," she said.

In the November 6th General Election, Nevada voters made their state the tenth in the nation to eliminate a "tampon tax."

Kenya, Canada, India, Malaysia and Australia also stopped taxing menstrual products.