As the 2022 legislative session begins, New Mexico lawmakers are urged to “think pink” by Rep. Christine Trujillo, D-Albuquerque.
Trujillo again proposed a bill that would abolish the sales tax on feminine hygiene products, popularly known as the “pink tax” or “tampon tax”. Although the measure fell through in 2019, Trujillo hopes New Mexico’s current revenue boom could provide momentum behind an effort to eliminate sales taxes on menstruation products in the state.
In a recent interview, Trujillo said House Bill 32 is extremely important for people who menstruate in New Mexico, especially given the state’s relatively high poverty rate. On January 25, the Health and Human Services Legislative Committee recommended the bill and referred it to the Tax and Revenue Committee.
Eliminating the tax on feminine hygiene products “would allow better access for disadvantaged women who have less access to get their products without having to pay as much for them,” Trujillo said.
The 2019 bill was introduced because the state budget could not support the loss of revenue from the vintage goods sales tax, which brings in about $800,000 to the state, according to a Legislative Finance Committee Report 2019.
The 2022 bill introduced by Trujillo and co-sponsored by Rep. Kristina Ortez, D-Taos, and Rep. Tara Lujan, D-Santa Fe, was inspired by bills passed in 20 other U.S. states that followed the elimination of sales taxes on menstrual products.
Trujillo, along with many other state legislators who have successfully passed these bills, subscribes to the belief that “because [feminine hygiene products] are not a luxury, women should have easy access to them.
Trujillo said she believes the bill didn’t pass in 2019 because New Mexico had “a different tax environment” at the time. However, there is an expected increase in state revenues, putting New Mexico in a new positive economic situation.
Absorbing the tampon tax would be “a drop in the ocean for the state of New Mexico” this year, she said.
For proponents of free menstrual products, House Bill 32 is an elephantine first step to eliminating the cost altogether. Trujillo said she hoped the bill would pass this time around, as she observed that “people are more enlightened now and more inclined to support it.”