Lawmaker wants to exempt Olympic awards from state taxes







As Americans root for Team USA at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, R-Staten Island, wants to exempt athletes from New York’s “insatiable hunger for tax revenue.”

The assemblywoman said she will introduce legislation next session to eliminate the state tax on income earned as an award for Olympic medal recipients.

The United States Olympic Committee awards American athletes $25,000 for each gold medal, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze medals. Tax collectors at the federal and state level treat these awards as income and are therefore subject to taxation. Furthermore, gold and silver medalists are taxed for the value of the medals themselves — $564 and $305, respectively.



“These Olympians bring much pride to our state and nation and they should be celebrated not taxed for their achievements,” Malliotakis said. “Most of them do not get endorsement deals but, instead, survive on small stipends and sacrifice much to compete in the games.

“The state of New York should allow them to keep their hard-earned award money and exempt Olympic awards from income tax,” she said.

As of press time, five New Yorkers have won medals at the 2016 Games: Meghan Musnicki in rowing (gold); Emily Regan in rowing (gold); Daryl Homer in fencing (silver); Lia Neal in swimming (silver); and Miles Chamley-Watson in fencing (bronze).  Competitions have yet to conclude for 17 other Olympians from New York.

The USOC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that receives no direct government funding except for select paralympic military programs, and is sustained primarily through private donations, broadcast rights, merchandise sales, and corporate sponsorship, Malliotakis notes.