By MADISON HIRNEISEN
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) – With cases of COVID-19 on the rise in California once again, a state lawmaker announced legislation on Thursday that would suspend sales tax on purchases of face masks and at-home tests through 2025.
The proposal, introduced by Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-Marin County, aims to make high-quality face masks, such as N-95s and KN-95s, and at-home tests more affordable for the public to purchase. The proposal comes as thousands are scrambling to find at-home tests and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is suggesting members of the public upgrade their face masks.
“Why on earth are we taxing face masks and at home COVID test kits in California?” Assemblyman Levine said in a statement. “With COVID-19 cases surging in California, we need to do all we can to reduce financial barriers to 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.”
The legislation is expected to be heard in the State Assembly in the coming weeks.As of Thursday, California averaged 36,282 COVID-19 cases per day and a test positivity rate of 21.4% – the highest recorded throughout the pandemic.