Jackson Bill Bans Pink Tax

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Source: Office of Sen. Jackson

Charging more for a pink children’s helmet over a blue one could be outlawed under legislation introduced by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) today. Senate Bill 873 would make it illegal to charge customers different prices for substantially similar goods on the basis of gender.

“Women not only earn less on average than their male peers, they also pay more for similar products. This ‘pink tax’ is unfair, unethical, and harms women and families everywhere. When women are held back financially, we all suffer,” said Senator Jackson.

From toys and clothing to personal care products, items for female consumers cost more on average than those for men. The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs examined 800 products available nationwide for their report From Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer, and found that women’s products cost 7 percent more on average than similar products for men. Women’s products cost more 42 percent of the time while men’s products cost more 18 percent of the time.

According to the report, the “pink tax” starts at birth with girls’ toys costing more 55 percent of the time, and continues into adulthood with women’s personal care products costing more 56 percent of the time.

Gender-based price discrimination for services, such as dry-cleaning, is currently prohibited in California under the Gender Tax Repeal Act of 1995. Senate Bill 873 would expand this prohibition to products like razors and t-shirts.

In 2001, Senator Jackson authored Assembly Bill 1088 to improve compliance with the Gender Tax Repeal Act by requiring certain businesses to disclose the standard pricing they charge and to provide consumers with written price lists upon request so they could evaluate the price differential for themselves. The bill was signed into law.

SB 873 is supported by the National Association of Women Business Owners, California chapter. “The National Association of Women Business Owners California Chapter (NAWBO-CA), which represents the interests of over 1.5 million women business owners across all industries in this state, is pleased to co-sponsor SB 873, which would repeal the Pink Tax by prohibiting gender-based price discrimination for consumer goods sold in California. While the Gender Tax Repeal Act of 1995 was an important first step toward greater economic equity for women in California by preventing discriminatory pricing for services, it did not prevent discriminatory prices charged for goods. As a result, female consumers continue to pay more than male consumers for the same products; this needs to change. SB 873 aims to do just that,” said Hilary Lentini, President, National Association of Women Business Owners, California.

Women in California earn an estimated 88 cents for every dollar a man earns, amounting to an average annual wage gap of more than $7,000.  Gender-based price discrimination further compounds the problem and results in women paying thousands of dollars more over the course of their lives to purchase similar products as men. 

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

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Chip of SB Jan 22, 2020 11:31 AM
Jackson Bill Bans Pink Tax

Perhaps the demand for pink items is lower than other colors resulting in lower production volumes and correspondingly higher costs. Regardless, I believe every law like this achieves the opposite of its stated intention. The "affordable care act" is a prime example of that. If passed, I predict Jackson's bill intended to reduce the cost of "pink" items will instead increase the costs of all items. In addition, I predict an increase in online sales for out of state vendors as consumers avoid the increased costs and a corresponding reduction of sales for local brick and mortar stores that are subject to Jackson's law.

Concerned4Calif Jan 23, 2020 08:43 AM
Jackson Bill Bans Pink Tax

For certain products it is most certainly a matter of economics and scale of production. To be fair to manufacturers we should increase prices so profits are fair when providing these important gender-based options.

DBD Jan 22, 2020 01:08 PM
Jackson Bill Bans Pink Tax

Our pink products are probably a tenth of a percent of our black products, if that(exact same product). There is absolutely no economies of scale in building them. All of the same paperwork and processing goes into this product whether we make one unit or a run of 1000. Not to mention we are ordering a few hundred molded pieces from our vendor instead of tens of thousands. Every cost along the way is higher for this pink product. I don't think we should be dinged for this, not to mention, these are mainly purchased by males anyways.

Lucky 777 Jan 22, 2020 11:31 AM
Jackson Bill Bans Pink Tax

Higher priced 5-7% of the time. Scandal. Collusion. THE most important thing I can imagine my Government legislating.

Sam The Dog Jan 22, 2020 11:09 AM
Jackson Bill Bans Pink Tax

Sen. Jackson is so incredibly out of touch with the the needs of her constitutes she should be impeached for dereliction of duty. How many State employees do we now need to hire (and provide health care / retirements benefits for) to determine when items are "substantially similar" and enforce this new bill? What all this BS feel good legislation misses is that it will probably cost the state more than any potential savings to consumers. What if the fix is to just raise prices on all "male" goods so everything to be equal? Well that will screw the CA consumer. And how sexist is this? To call it a "pink tax"? What is stopping women from just buying the cheaper priced "male" goods? And how many laws on the books is just too many!? WASTE OF OUR GOVERNMENTS VALUABLE RESOURCES!!!

LCP112233 Jan 22, 2020 10:43 AM
Jackson Bill Bans Pink Tax

In my long life, I have never seen a higher priced item based on color. And besides that, who decides which colors are for guys and which for gals? This is a ridiculous waste of time and tax dollars. Who is going to police every single item and compare prices between gender differences anyway. What the heck is wrong with the people in this state?????? Dry cleaning is based on garment, not the sex of the person who wears it. What if it's a male cross dresser getting a delicate dress dry cleaned? What then? I can go on, but I have to go back to work to my meaningless job that guys may or may not get paid more for.....Ugh.

a-1594463089 Jan 23, 2020 04:18 PM
Jackson Bill Bans Pink Tax

Gifted: I don't think there are any Blue Solo cups. The blue ones are made by another company. Solo wants the cache' of being known as the Red Cup company.

giftedinSB Jan 22, 2020 04:42 PM
Jackson Bill Bans Pink Tax

Red Solo cups cost more than blue ones. Same exact size, same exact cup. This is because of marketing & product placement, but it does happen. Getting back on-topic - if this is what Hannah-Beth Jackson is focused on, then she seriously needs to re-assess her priorities. And we need to get rid of her - vote her out!

a-1594463089 Jan 22, 2020 10:27 AM
Jackson Bill Bans Pink Tax

Total BS! Thanks for getting this much-needed legislation going, Hannah-Beth. Bravo!

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