CVS Pharmacy Announces Paying Sales Tax on Period Products for Utah Customers

CVS Pharmacy pays state sales tax on vintage products for customers at its 30 floors across Utah, the company announced this week. (Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press)

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SALT LAKE CITY — CVS Pharmacy pays state sales tax on vintage goods for customers at its 30 stores across Utah, the company announced this week.

Utah is one of 22 states that taxes products at the standard sales tax rate, deeming them non-essential products. Utah’s sales tax rate is 6.1%, and local tax rates vary 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 focuses on addressing menstrual poverty, said Dr. Joanne Armstrong, vice president and chief medical officer of women’s health. and genomics at CVS, during an online roundtable on Tuesday.

Periods are one of the “most stigmatized” conditions for women because many are embarrassed to talk about it “and it influences how they present themselves in all these other places,” she added.

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

She said the company will pay the tax in 12 states where it is able to. CVS is also reducing the price of all vintage CVS-branded products by 25%.

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

Past efforts by Utah leaders to repeal the vintage produce tax have failed.

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

Last year, the Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a law requiring the installation of dispensers of free menstrual products in every bathroom for women and unisex in K-12.

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Ashley Imlay covers state politics and breaking news for KSL.com. A lifelong Utahn, Ashley also worked as a reporter for the Deseret News and is a graduate of Dixie State University.

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