Bill to Remove Tax on Olympic Medals a D.C. Tradition

Republicans and Democrats regularly complain about it

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, introduced legislation in 2014 that would have removed taxes from Olympic medals. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As United States athletes prepare for the Olympics, Congress is once again complaining about taxes on Olympic medals.  

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, and Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., are the sponsors of the Tax Exemptions for American Medalists Act of 2015, which would remove the taxes that are levied on Olympic medalists.  

American contest winners currently receive around $10,000 for bronze medals, $15,000 for silver medals and $25,000 for gold medals.  

However, the language of the legislation states: "Gross income shall not include the value of any medal awarded in, or any prize money received from the United States Olympic Committee on account of, competition in the Olympic Games."  

Posturing about the taxes levied on Olympic medals has become routine for both Republicans and Democrats in recent Olympic cycles.   

In 2014, Farenthold introduced the legislation during the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., introduced  a Senate version with New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand as co-sponsors. But Farenthold's got no traction.  

Before that, in 2012, Sen. Marco Rubio supported similar legislation but it never received a vote. 

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