Assemblymember Levine Introduces Legislation to Eliminate Sales Tax on Face Masks and At Home COVID Testing Kits

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – With cases of COVID-19 surging throughout the United States, Assemblymember Marc Levine (D – Marin County) today announced legislation that would suspend sales tax on the retail purchase of high-quality face masks and at home COVID-19 test kits through 2025.

 

As of January 6, there have been over 5.5 million cases of COVID-19 reported in California, averaging over 36,000 positive cases per day. According to the California Department of Public Health, the state’s seven-day COVID positivity rate has soared to 21.4%, the highest since the start of the pandemic. In response, Governor Newsom recently extended a statewide mask mandate through mid-February and has begun deploying millions of COVID-19 test kits to schools across the state. To further limit the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently suggested that the public upgrade the type of facial masks worn in public to an N-95, KN-95, KF-94 or similar high-quality mask.

 

At-home COVID-19 tests and high-quality face masks are essential tools to help stop the spread of this virus, but they aren’t cheap. Levine’s legislation would suspend sales taxes on retail purchases of COVID-19 home test kits and high-quality face masks through 2025, which will make it more affordable for the public to purchase these necessary items and incentivize increased use of COVID-19 testing and mask use.

 

“Why on earth are we taxing face masks and at home COVID test kits in California,” asked Assemblymember Levine. “With COVID-19 cases surging in California, we need to do all we can to reduce financial barriers to keep keep Californians safe and healthy. This legislation will reduce the cost of essential tools needed to stop this pandemic and make it easier for every Californian to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19.”

 

Levine’s legislation will be considered by the State Assembly in the coming weeks.

 

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