Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched a new campaign to eliminate the pink tax in New York State this year. The campaign will include a series of events across the State to rally support for the elimination of the pink tax, as well as a social media campaign and a new hashtag - #PinkTax - to raise awareness and inform New Yorkers about the proposal. In the early 1990s, several studies reported disparities between the costs of substantially similar goods and services depending on if they were marketed for men or for women. Despite increased public discourse around gender-based pricing discrimination, recent research indicates that the problem still persists. To address these disparities, the Governor's budget proposal includes legislation to prohibit gender-based pricing discrimination for substantially similar goods and services. The legislation will require certain service providers to post price lists for standard services; businesses that violate the law would be subject to civil penalties.
"New York has made tremendous progress in advancing women's rights all across the board, but unfortunately women are still victims of cultural and institutional discrimination," Governor Cuomo said. "This year New York will once again lead the nation and continue our work to end this shameful and repugnant injustice by eliminating the so-called pink tax once and for all - because pink or blue, the price should be the same."
"Women and girls continue to face inequalities in many aspects of their daily lives, and it is unacceptable that they have to pay more than men for similar goods and services," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Eliminating the 'pink tax' by putting an end to gender-based pricing will help to ensure financial success and break down barriers for women. We do not tolerate discriminatory actions in our state, and ending the pink tax will advance our efforts to eliminate the gender wage gap and help to achieve full equality for all New Yorkers."
A 2015 study of product prices in New York City analyzed prices of toys, clothing, personal care products and home health products that were substantially similar and found that 42 percent of the time, products targeted towards women are more expensive than men's. According to the data collected, women's merchandise costs 7 percent on average more than similar items for men, with personal care products for women found to be priced 13 percent higher than men's products. Because these products are purchased frequently, the study estimates that the compounding differences translate into a significant financial burden for women over the cost of their lifetime.
These cost differences have lasting consequences. Women will spend thousands more throughout the course of their lifetimes than men to get similar products, and these higher costs will disproportionately impact disposable incomes and savings. Additionally, the gender wage gap, which hinders female economic growth and falls more heavily on women of color, is only being exacerbated by these price disparities.
During his time in office, Governor Cuomo has demonstrated his commitment to reducing the gender wage gap. In 2016 the Governor signed legislation that prohibited a tax on menstrual products, making New York one of the first states to ban the so-called "tampon tax." In 2019, the Governor signed a new law prohibiting employers from asking about or considering an applicant's salary history when making hiring and promotion decisions, as well as legislation that mandates equal pay for substantially similar work.