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Taxing U.S. Olympians for medal winnings




Swimmer Maya DiRado of the United States poses for a photo with her four medals on the Today show set on Copacabana Beach on August 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. DiRado is from Sonoma County and attended Stanford University.
Swimmer Maya DiRado of the United States poses for a photo with her four medals on the Today show set on Copacabana Beach on August 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. DiRado is from Sonoma County and attended Stanford University.
Harry How/Getty Images

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Both the U.S. Senate and House are considering legislation that would eliminate taxation on Olympic medalists' winnings (a similar bill in California failed to advance this week).

Currently, any athlete that medals earns upwards of $10,000 plus the value of the medal itself.

Despite the fact that Nobel Prize winnings and Pulitzer Prize winnings are taxed, the lawmakers argue most Olympians spend years in grueling training to bring glory to the U.S., leaving over little time to build careers and salaries.

The advocacy group Citizens for Tax Justice disagrees with a special exemption: "There is no moral or economic case for exempting the earnings of Olympic athletes over other categories of workers. Is the work done by athletes really more important than that of computer programmers, doctors, firefighters, or soldiers?"

In a press release, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) counters, “Most countries subsidize their athletes; the very least we can do is make sure our athletes don’t get hit with a tax bill for winning. After a successful and hard fought victory, it’s just not right for the U.S. to welcome these athletes home with a tax on that victory."

What do you think?

Guests:

Assemblyman Brian Jones (R - Santee), Jones’ California version of this bill failed to advance this week

Matthew Gardner, Executive Director, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy - described as a non-profit, non-partisan research body