Senator Marco Rubio introduced a bill yesterday that would exempt Olympic Athletes from being taxed for earning medals at the Games. Medalists earn an honorarium depending on their medal, $25,000 for a gold down to $10,000 for a bronze medal. The amount they are taxed on also includes the value of the metals in the medals, which isn’t a whole lot as gold medals aren’t actually made of gold.
According to Senator Rubio, the average Olympic Gold Medalist will pay a tax of $8,986 on their earnings.
Senator Rubio thinks that they are being punished for success, and believes that the honorariums should be exempted.
What do you think?
I have opinions on both sides of the issue.
First, I do not agree with the senator that the athletes should be exempted because they aren’t being punished for success, they are paying taxes on earned income which is no different than any other citizen of the country. A further complicated tax code that is bloated with special circumstances isn’t necessarily a good option. If that income bumps the athlete into a specific tax bracket, I do not have any problem with them being taxed at that amount.
However, I don’t actually have a problem with the bill. I think that these athletes are representing our country on the world stage and don’t really have a problem with giving them a bonus of a tax exemption for that reason and that reason alone.
Sure, many athletes are struggling due to the slave-labor policies of the IOC, IAAF, and USATF (along with other national governing bodies in other nations.) Sponsorship is hard to come by, and sponsors that do support athletes are penalized at this time of the year for it because taking advantage of that sponsorship would lead to the athlete being disqualified from the Games. I don’t believe that a tax exemption is the solution to that problem, especially because the exemption would effect only a small percentage of the athletes competing.
What do you think? Do you suport Senator Rubio’s bill? Why or why not? Leave a comment below and let me know.
(Source: Washington Times)