CVS Pharmacy announces it’s paying period product sales tax for Utah customers

Oct 14, 2022, 2:53 PM | Updated: Nov 19, 2022, 12:19 am
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — CVS Pharmacy is paying the state sales tax on period products for customers at its 30 stores across Utah, the company announced this week.

Utah is one of 22 states that tax period products at the standard sales tax rate, considering them nonessential products. Utah’s sales tax rate is 6.1%, and with local tax rates varying statewide, the average combined state and municipal tax rate is 7.19%, according to the Tax Foundation.

As part of CVS Health’s focus on women’s health holistically, it is focusing on fighting period poverty, said Dr. Joanne Armstrong, vice president and chief medical officer of women’s health and genomics at CVS, during an online panel discussion on Tuesday.

Periods are one of the “most stigmatized” conditions for women, as many are embarrassed to discuss it “and that influences how they show up in all these other places,” she added.

For those who can’t afford period products — 1 in 5 — periods are stigmatized even further, according to Armstrong.

She told KSL.com the company will be paying the tax in 12 states where it is able to do so. CVS is also reducing the price of all its CVS brand period products by 25%.

Armstrong said the decision is part of the company’s mission to eliminate gender-based pricing, adding that “a pink razor is the same as a blue razor” — pointing to the historic price discrepancy between razors made for men and those made for women.

Past efforts by leaders in Utah to repeal the tax on period products have failed.

The Utah Legislature approved an end to the so-called “tampon tax” as part of a sweeping tax reform bill during a special session in late 2019. But within several weeks, then-Gov. Gary Herbert, Senate President Stuart Adams and House Speaker Brad Wilson decided to repeal the bill, which was unpopular among many residents, during the first week of the 2020 session.

Last year, the Legislature unanimously passed a law requiring the installation of free period product dispensers in every K-12 female and unisex bathroom.

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CVS Pharmacy announces it’s paying period product sales tax for Utah customers