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Five women in New York are doing more than merely protesting the so-called "pink tax" on women's personal items. According to CNN, they are demanding that the New York tax department and its commissioner, Jerry Boone, stop imposing a 4% "luxury tax" on feminine hygiene products.
"There can be only one explanation for the Department's decision to tax tampons and pads but not Rogaine, dandruff shampoo, foot powder, chapstick, and so many other less medically necessary products also used by men ... [these products] are used by women only," the complaint read.
The complaint, filed by Margo Seibert, Jennifer Moore, Catherine O'Neil, Natalie Brasington, and Taja-Nia Henderson highlights guidelines published by the taxation department in 1998 and 2014 that categorize pads and tampons as "general merchandise" that means are not eligible for a "medical supplies" tax exemption.
This isn't just a problem in the U.S. women in London also oppose the "pink tax." According to CNN, the British parliament debated gender-based pricing earlier this year and one MP described the practice as "exploitation."
"Women are paid less and are expected to spend more on products and services...they are charged more simply for being women," Paula Sherriff, a Labor Party MP, offered during the debate.
Back in New York as a group women spend $14 million in taxes on feminine hygiene products each year, the complaint estimates. The plaintiffs are seeking class action status and "restitution and damages in an amount to be determined at trial," as well as immediate relief from the tax.