(CNS) – A Los Angeles County supervisor called today on his colleagues to support federal legislation to repeal the tax on Olympic medal winnings. Supervisor Michael Antonovich is a fan of the Olympic Tax Elimination Act, which the board will formally consider supporting next week.
“After years of sacrifice and personal expense to represent our nation at the Olympic Games, forcing a tax on winning medals is a punitive action,” Antonovich said. “Olympic medalists should be celebrated for their extraordinary achievement — not penalized.”
American athletes who win Olympic medals receive honorariums of $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze wins. Taxes amount to nearly $9,000 on gold, $5,300 on silver and $3,500 on bronze, Antonovich said, citing numbers that match calculations by Americans for Tax Reform.
Medal winnings, like Nobel prize or lottery winnings, are taxed as ordinary income. That wasn’t true until 1986, when a provision was added to tax winnings under an overhaul of the tax code under President Ronald Reagan, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.