New Jersey’s Olympic medal winners could soon have less taxing time

Lauren Hernandez of Old Bridge

Lauren Hernandez of Old Bridge

Eight New Jersey residents have won medals at the Olympic Games in Rio, and a state lawmaker wants to give them a tax break.

The U.S. Olympic Committee awards $25,000 to athletes who win a gold medal; $15,000 to silver medal winners; and $10,000 for bronze.

Sen. Sam Thompson is proposing legislation to exempt those earnings from the state income tax.

“Just to show a token of our appreciation for all of the dedication they have shown to represent our country, for all their hard work,” said Thompson, R-Middlesex. “I mean this is not something you go out one day and spend a month getting ready for. This is something they’ve dedicated their whole life to.”

It’s a shame a medal winners face that tax burden, said Thompson, adding that his proposal could prevent their Olympic dreams from becoming a financial nightmare.

“What we’re talking about is not going to cost that much. The amount of income tax you’d have to pay on $25,000 or $15,000 or $10,000 is not that great,” he said. “But it’s just a little token of our appreciation to them for what they have done to make our country look great.”

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