New Bill Means Jordyn Wieber Could Be Exempt From Taxes On Gold Medal

By: WILX News 10
By: WILX News 10

If Jordyn Wieber ends up on the podium tonight for the individual floor routine competition, she will not only have to pay taxes on whatever she medals in, but also on the gold she won last week.

Cash prizes for medals are $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze. According to the group Americans for Tax Reform, a gold medalist could end up owing up to $9,000 in taxes for their success.

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio is proposing a bill that would exempt American Olympians who won medals at the games from paying taxes on their medals and their prize money. Rubio says athletes representing the US overseas shouldn't have to worry about an extra tax bill when they get home.

President Obama agrees. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday Obama would support the measure if it passed through Congress.

If the bill is passed, it would apply to prizes and awards Olympians received after December 31st, 2011, which means Jordyn Wieber wouldn't have to pay taxes on the gold she already won.

The bill would not apply to some of the biggest money-making Olympic opportunities - corporate sponsorships and endorsements.


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  • by Josh on Aug 8, 2012 at 07:53 AM
    This is an awful proposal. Pure populist political pandering. Why not start exempting other income? Oh, you won a new Harley in a charity auction? You shouldn't have to pay taxes on that. Income is income; it should be taxed across the board at the lowest rate necessary for the government to operate. And the figures of $9,000 in taxes on a $25,000 prize are hogwash. Michael Phelps might pay that because he is in such a high tax bracket, but for most olympians who are young and don't have much other income, their rate will be FAR less.
  • by Tim Location: Lansing on Aug 7, 2012 at 08:16 PM
    So Obama says it's OK to punish successful people who have earned something from hard work unless they are Olympians. Seriously?! This is not a president who makes decisions based on principles, he is clearly making it up as he goes along!
  • by Roy Location: Parma on Aug 7, 2012 at 05:08 PM
    The monies that Olympians win has been earned in foreign country. All they have to do is put their winnings in an off=shore account like a lot of really rich people do!
  • by brandon Location: baton rouge on Aug 7, 2012 at 12:32 PM
    Doesnt seem like much motivation for them to bring home a gold for the usa if they are gonna take 9k from the winner, really ...someone needs to really ask what the hell is this government doing with our money. would you call it frivolous spending when they have to tax our gold medalists that brought home a gold for this country. we shouldnt have to pay for the governments over spending on stuff that most of this country doesnt approve on.tax gold medalist 9k for a gold medal tax home sales whit the healthcare law 3.6% when selling your home all these tax tax taxes.when are we gonna stand up and stop this money stealing right out of the peoples pay...eithe we work to pay the govs bad baudgeting or we all give up and let them pay for gov housing and food stamps and medicaid. the people need to help each other and vote for people who arent basing thier campaign on contraception or gay marriage.what about the whole country losing homes to taxes. get a job america and work for your country.
    • reply
      by Tony on Aug 8, 2012 at 04:08 AM in reply to brandon
      I sincerely doubt the athlete's motivation to win is the stipend they get for winning a medal. It's a pittance compared to even the most minor endorsement deal. I also sincerely doubt that Social Security, Medicare and the Military are 'stuff most people don't approve on[sic]' Those three items are nearly all of the budget. Complaining about everything else is moving deck chairs around on the Titanic. And why wouldn't you pay taxes if you made money when you sold your home? You can take a write off if you lose money when you sell.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 7, 2012 at 11:09 AM
    It is terrible that they have to pay taxes on their medals. I bet that we are the only country that does it.
  • by Pete Location: Lansing on Aug 7, 2012 at 09:09 AM
    Everyone should pay taxes, including Romney.
    • reply
      by Dan on Aug 8, 2012 at 02:56 PM in reply to Pete
      Why don't you tell that to the 36 Obama staffers that owe over a million dollars in back taxes?
  • by Joeblo-2 Location: Lansing on Aug 7, 2012 at 07:04 AM
    Any income from an endeavor must exceed the expense of said endeavor.. Anyone who plays the lottery knows that.. Must be political season for this suggestion to surface.
  • by Patrick on Aug 7, 2012 at 06:10 AM
    What a crock. I paid taxes on money I earned when I was a minor. Athletes are not in the military and should not be exempt from taxes. This makes me want to go to the white house and puke.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 7, 2012 at 05:35 AM
    Actually, if they were doing things right, they would not be taxed. They can declare almost all of their expenses in training as business expenses. Someone is not doing their taxes right if they are paying taxes on earning while their expenses is greater.
  • by Trina Location: East Lansing on Aug 7, 2012 at 05:35 AM
    It's income. Pay the taxes like everyone else. Sorry to those who are offended by the concept.
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