New state rule prohibits 'pink tax' on goods sold to women

Oct 1, 2020

A new law prohibiting businesses in New York from gender-based pricing, often referred to as a “pink tax,” goes into effect today.

In a press release Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said the new measure bars certain providers from charging a price for two "substantially similar" goods or services based on the gender of those the items are marketed to.

The governor cited an example of charging a higher price for a children’s toy in the color pink, and a lower price for the exact same product in blue. Likewise for services, that could mean charging a higher price for women’s dry cleaning instead of a men’s.

Cuomo says the rule will help "break down barriers and put women on an equal playing field.” Several female members of Cuomo’s cabinet, including Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, also lauded the move.

"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 Hochul.

Cuomo signed the reform in April as part of the 2021 budget. Businesses that violate the law will be subject to civil penalties, including up to $250 for the first violation.