Every year I sponsor legislation brought to me by students in our district. This year, several excellent students of Mr. Dawson and Ms. Shoda at Lake Washington High School brought forward a bill to end the “pink tax.”
The “pink tax” is not actually a tax. It’s when a company charges more for a product marketed to women than a product marketed to men. There’s no reason a pink bottle should be more expensive than a blue bottle, but that’s what these students found when they started to do their research. They looked at national statistics, they looked online, and they looked in their local stores. And they found that too often, pink helmets cost more than blue ones and women’s adult diapers cost more than men’s.
As one of the students, Gabrielle Heuer, testified in the committee hearing: “This may only be a few dollars or cents, but over a lifetime this gap adds up to be something significant.”
It’s time to end this kind of gender-based price discrimination in our state. That’s what SB 5171 would do. It’s based on legislation passed in New York and California and would ban price discrimination by companies simply based on whether consumer products are marketed to women or to men. If there is a legitimate reason one product is more expensive than another, like more expensive ingredients or more difficult manufacturing processes, this law wouldn’t affect those pricing differences.
Let’s eliminate the pink tax, and let’s be more inclusive than simply pink or blue. This bill has touched a nerve, and I have heard from lots of constituents with stories about the examples of price discrimination they notice. If you come across any notable examples, please send photos!
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As always, please feel free to reach out to my office directly with any questions or concerns. Take care!