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State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson pushes to end “pink tax”

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson is pushing to end the so-called "Pink Tax."

The senator, whose district covers Santa Barbara County and part of Ventura County, held a news conference Tuesday in Sacramento alongside Congresswoman Jackie Speier, business owners, and social justice advocates.

Jackson recently introduced Senate Bill 873, which would make it illegal to change the price of products based on the gender a product is marketed to.

"This is a tax on being female. That's why we are calling this the pink tax," said Jackson during the news conference.

The senator cited a study from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, which looked at 800 products available nationwide. It found almost half the time, women's products cost more than the same product marketed towards men.

"One's personal success and economic well being should not be determined by their gender," said Jackson. "Women in California earn an estimated 88 cents for every dollar a man makes. For women of color, it's even less, but when you look at the 88 cent number, we know that the pay gap adds up to more than $7,000 per year."

During the news conference, leaders demonstrated how similar products were often priced differently based on something as simple as color.

A pink teddy bear that was found online was selling for $2.50 more than the identical teddy bear in blue. A pink soccer ball was selling for $2 more than the same soccer ball in blue.

"While women earn less than our male counterparts, we also pay more for virtually the same goods, and this gender-based price discrimination results in women paying thousands of dollars more over the course of our lives. That is wrong," said Jackson.

"On average, women earn less and pay more than the same products as men. It's a tax on being female. That doesn't just hurt women. It hurts us all," said Jackson. "We are still being victimized both in terms of services, but particularly in terms of products."

Congresswoman Speier, who also attended Tuesday's news conference, is the current author of a bill called the "Pink Tax Repeal Act." It also aims to end gender-based pricing.

Jackson's bill was first introduced in January.

According to the California Legislature's website, it may be acted upon on or after February 21.

Local Politics / Politics / Santa Barbara- S County / Santa Maria - North County / Ventura County

Lindsay Zuchelli

Lindsay Zuchelli is the executive producer at KEYT|KCOY|KKFX.