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White House says Obama would sign a bill to give Olympic athletes a tax break

Several members of Congress, including Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., have introduced bills to give award-winning Olympic athletes a break on paying taxes for the medals they win -- and President Barack Obama is a big fan.

Press Secretary Jay Carney said Obama "believes that we should support efforts like I think the bill you're referencing, to ensure that we're doing everything we can to honor and support our Olympic athletes who have volunteered to represent our nation at the Olympic games."

The president would sign the bill if it were to pass, Carney said.

Olympians who win medals receive $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze from the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The proposal first came from members of Congress, who saw an item written by Americans for Tax Reform that said a gold medal winner could pay the IRS up to $8,986. Silver medal winners face a tax of up to $5,385, and bronze medal winners face a tax of up to $3,502, the group said. PolitiFact described their analysis as "mostly false," saying that there is "nothing special or 'extra' about the taxes levied on income derived from Olympic victories. They are the same taxes laid on any kind of income, whether that’s from wages or lottery winnings." PolitiFact also notes that "any accountant worth their salt should be able to get the rate of tax on medal winnings much below $9,000, and maybe even to zero."


ead more here: http://blogs.mcclatchydc.com/washington/#storylink=cpy


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earl from new york

I love our athletes just as much as the next guy, but this is more pandering at its worse. Clearly, if the "winnings" of an Olympic athlete is considered income (as it should -- why should this be different than any other reward for athletic endeavor?), i'm sure that the expenses required to reach the level of proficiency to earn a medal far exceeds the reward given by the IOC. Also, what exact are we going to exempt? Just USOC money? Money from the individual sports committees? Support from sponsors? Does this apply only to the Olympics? What about World Championships, the World Cup, Pan-Am games? Where do we draw the line?

No wonder we will never be able to reduce the deficit.


This is a crock. If the Olympians get a tax break, then how about the thousands of Veterans that went to battle and fought for the rights to be an Olympian...HUH???

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