Fill in the blank: The condom tax reduction bill is ____ .

By Perspective Staff

Illinois Sen. Toi Hutchinson introduced a bill that would lower the sales tax on condoms from 6.25 percent to 1 percent, according to the Illinois General Assembly website.

Faith Mellenthin | Columnist

… a step in the right direction.

Condoms are being taxed as a luxury item and not as a health product, according to a Feb. 17 Chicago Tribune article.

Before looking into this bill, I did not know condoms were not considered a health item. Perhaps this was established because sex is not a necessity to health and was then deemed a luxury. However, sex is not a luxury by definition because everybody does it. Most people have had sexual intercourse by the time they are 16 to 17 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Getting away from the semantics, it simply makes sense that condoms should be classified as a health product. That is where they are found in stores, and they contribute to safe sex as well as protect from diseases. Condoms are a health product because they aid in keeping individuals healthy.

The decreased price will only change by a few cents, but I think it is a step in the right direction. For students at NIU, they can save even more by visiting Health Services for access to free condoms.

Ian Tancun | Columnist

… something all politicians should support.

Condoms are taxed at the rate of 6.25 percent in Illinois. Illinois State Sen. Toi Hutchinson has proposed a bill that would lower the sales tax rate to 1 percent, according to the Illinois General Assembly’s website.

This proposed tax cut would translate into a 5 cent reduction on every condom sold in Illinois.

While that may seem like a small amount, any price break for consumers is a welcome change. Furthermore, DeKalb County chlamydia rates have been consistently high, according to a Feb. 20 Northern Star editorial.

Any measures that can be implemented that promote safe sex choices — including lowering the price of condoms — seem like a win for consumers and a proactive way to help combat the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

This seems like a win-win situation to me, and I encourage Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Illinois to unite and pass this legislation.

Kristen Arms | Columnist

… a safety reminder.

The Sales Tax Reduced Rate Condoms bill will lead to cheaper condoms in Illinois but only by about five cents, according to a Feb. 17 Chicago Tribune article. Instead of the intention of saving money, which might seem like the main purpose of this bill, it is about the symbolism behind condoms being taxed as a luxury item.

There are many places that provide condoms for free, such as NIU Health Services and the Wellness Promotion offices in the Chick Evans Field House. But, even if people can get free condoms, the bigger issues of why some might not use them can vary. Some people think condoms reduce pleasure or just get in the way.

What this bill really does is initiate conversations and show the public that safe sex is not a luxury and will not be treated as such. It sends a good message: condoms should not be taxed as a luxury because they help keep people safe. The bill should be passed.

MacKenzie Meadows | Columnist

… a positive movement. 

Sex, an unavoidable topic that typically makes some uncomfortable. Talking about condoms and birth control could be even more awkward, even though the use of them is really beneficial. A pack of three lubricated Walgreens-brand condoms are $3.99, which equals out to $1.33 per condom. The price of a box of 12 is $11.99, according to the DeKalb Walgreens. The well-known Trojan Brand Condoms company charges almost double that, according to the DeKalb Walgreen prices.

However, that might all change, thanks to Illinois Sen. Toi W. Hutchinson. She has proposed a bill that could save Illinois residents five cents per condom, which equals a 6.25 percent cut.

This is a step toward free birth control, even though it’s only five cents. A Nov. 13, 2013, study by the Sex Information and Education Council found that nearly 50 percent of sexually active college students aren’t using condoms. Most college kids don’t have money to throw around, and by cutting the prices of condoms, STDs and teen pregnancies have the potential to drop. This bill should be passed.