A measure to end what has become known as the "tampon tax" was unanimously approved Monday by the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee.
The proposal (SB 176) by Naples Republican Kathleen Passidomo would create a sales-tax exemption for feminine hygiene products such as tampons, sanitary napkins and panty liners.
A class-action lawsuit was filed in Leon County last year challenging the tax on the products.
Passidomo told the committee Monday that the products are a necessity for women and that creating a tax exemption could particularly help younger women.
Responding to a question from Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, Passidomo said creating the exemption would have a fiscal impact of about $15 million.
A similar bill (HB 63) has been filed in the House by Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation. Medical products and supplies considered necessary to human health are already exempt from sales taxes.
Feminine hygiene products were exempt from sales taxes from 1977 to 1986.
The Sales and Tax Exemption Study Commission determined collecting taxes on feminine hygiene products would generate $2.6 million in revenue in 1987-1988, with the amount growing to $3.9 million the following year.