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Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan’s Bill to Eliminate the “Pink Tax” Heads to the Governor’s Desk

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 the California State Legislature.

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 penalty based purely on gender” 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.

“Women in California are currently grappling with record high inflation rates and a significant wage gap that means they have less money than men that doesn’t go as far as it used to. On top of that, they are expected to pay more for products marketed to them with no substantial differences in quality,” 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 one more inequity that we shouldn’t have to bear on the heels of a pandemic that economically hit women hardest.  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 make it even more difficult for women to recover economically from the pandemic crisis.”

"It’s insulting that women are not only earning less on average than our male counterparts but also having 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 more significant concern now, during a time when women are still 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 Assemblywoman Bauer-Kahan's work 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.

AB 1287 is a Women’s Caucus Priority and sponsored by the Commission on the Status of Women and girls. The bill now heads to the Governor’s Desk. 

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)