Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan’s Bill to Eliminate the “Pink Tax” Passes off Assembly Floor

AB 1287 eliminates the “Pink Tax” by prohibiting different prices for goods based solely on the gender they are marketed to.

For immediate release:

Sacramento, CA – Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer Kahan’s (D-Orinda) bill eliminating the “Pink Tax” on goods marketed to women has passed off the Assembly floor.

AB 1287 will build on the work begun in 1995 by then Assemblymember Jackie Speier. Speier’s “Gender Tax Repeal Act” prohibited charging women higher prices for similar services. This bill prohibits price differentials for substantially similar goods. The bill would allow for price differences when goods have a significant difference in the cost or time to produce.

“The “Pink Tax” is a sexist burden on women’s financial security” said Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan. “Paying a financial cost for being a woman is unjust and only adds to the gender wage and wealth gaps. This type of arbitrary gendered pricing has no place in California. It’s past time to ensure price equality.”

Goods can have drastically different prices based solely on their target market. From toiletries to toys, the pink item tends to cost more than an identical blue item. A study by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs that found that more than half of women’s products cost more than the same product marketed to men.

 “Simply being a woman shouldn’t cost money – but it does. Women pay roughly $1,300 a year that men don’t for the exact same products; with women as a whole making an average of 79 cents to every dollar a man makes, and women of color making even less, this isn’t a tax we can afford to ignore,” said Holly Martinez, Executive Director of the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. “Women make up as much as 85% of consumer purchases in the United States and the Pink Tax represents $1,300 that can’t go into a women’s retirement fund, toward home ownership, toward her education, or to feed her family.  The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls is proud to cosponsor AB 1287 to end arbitrary price differences for everyday products that are unjust and harmful, and that make it even more difficult for women to recover economically from the ongoing pandemic crisis.”

“It’s insulting that it’s 2022 and women are not only earning less on average than our male counterparts, but we have to pay more for products marketed to women. This gender-based price discrimination, or the pink tax, cheats women of hard-earned income and only further exacerbates the income inequality and barriers we face every day just for being born a woman. These economic injustices are of greater concern now, during a time when women are trying to recover from the COVID-induced recession which disproportionately impacted women of color and those who are low income,” said Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens). “I am proud of the work Assemblywoman Bauer-Kahan is doing to move our great state of California toward true equality.”

With AB 1287, Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan is fighting to remove a last pillar of commercial gender discrimination to ensure women equal access to products without paying a “tax” for their gender.

The bill passed off the Assembly Floor today on a bipartisan vote of 59-0. The bill now heads to the California Senate for committee assignments and hearings. 

Coauthors of the bill include Assemblymembers Evan Low (D–San Jose), Marc Levine (D-Marin), Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona), Adrin Nazarian (D-Van Nuys), Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood), Luz Rivas (D-Arleta), Cristina Garcia (D- Bell Gardens) and Senators Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), Connie Leyva (D-San Bernadino) and Ben Hueso (D-Imperial Beach)