There are bills seeking passage, both in various states and in the U.S. Congress, to make the cash awards that come with Olympic medals ($25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, $10,000 for bronze), tax-exempt. New Jersey Assemblyman Jay Webber says we “should celebrate, not punish, the success of our winning athletes.”
Well, you know, there’s a firefighter who lives down on my block. Why should he be punished by having to pay taxes on the money he earns?
For that matter, why should I?
And of course all these bills are just political grandstanding anyway: the athletes’ training expenses are tax-deductible, so it’s unlikely many medal winners will have any significant taxable income (especially since the Olympics award might be their only income for 2012).
© 2012 by Bill Bickel unless otherwise noted.