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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."


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