House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy wants to make sure that winning Olympic gold doesn’t cost U.S. athletes who competed in the recently-completed 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro any green.
McCarthy, R-Calif., announced Tuesday that the House Ways and Means Committee will take up a bill sponsored by Reps. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, and Bob Dold, R-Il., which would make winnings from the Games tax-exempt.
If the bill passes committee when Congress returns next month, McCarthy pledged to put it on the floor for a vote.
“Competing in the Olympics requires years of training and, in many instances, athletes must sacrifice more lucrative careers in their pursuit of excellence,” McCarthy said in a statement. “The men and women who represent the United States exemplify the best of the American spirit. Removing an unnecessary tax levied on their success is a no-brainer. The House will consider this bill soon after its passage out of the Ways and Means Committee.”
U.S. athletes won 121 medals at the Olympics – 46 gold, 37 silver, and 38 bronze.
The U.S. Olympic Committee awards cash to medal winners - $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze. The winnings are considered earned income and taxable.
Our already overzealous tax code should not punish our best athletes for representing our country and achieving international excellence
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
Lawmakers tried to make the winnings tax-exempt after the 2012 Olympics in London, but the bill never came up for a vote.
McCarthy, in his Monday statement, said “Our already overzealous tax code should not punish our best athletes for representing our country and achieving international excellence.”