Baker Scholar Projects

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-2023


The imposition of an additional luxury tax on menstrual health products, otherwise referred to as the “Pink Tax” or the “Tampon Tax”, is present in some states while absent in others. The decision to repeal such a tax is one that has proven to be critical, as it removes the connotation that such products are of “luxury” and make them more accessible to menstruators throughout the state. As of 2023, twenty-three states have eliminated the tax. The state of Washington falls under that parameter while Tennessee does not. The purpose of this undergraduate honors thesis is to explore the potential causes behind Tennessee’s continual imposition of the additional luxury tax in comparison to Washington’s decision to do away with it due to similar fiscal profiles of the two states. By examining bill histories, key players, local NGO involvement, and respective civil society agendas in the two states, it was clear that Washington’s treatment of this issue as partisan versus the political implications behind this issue in Tennessee fueled by their separate civil societies is a major factor that contributes to the existence and absence of the tax in Tennessee and Washington, respectively.

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