Pa. bill proposes tax break for Olympians

Hali Flickinger, left, of Spring Grove, York County, competes for the U.S. in a semifinal of the women's 200-meter butterfly at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Flickinger placed seventh in the event’s final heat. (David J. Phillip/AP Photo)

Hali Flickinger, left, of Spring Grove, York County, competes for the U.S. in a semifinal of the women's 200-meter butterfly at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Flickinger placed seventh in the event’s final heat. (David J. Phillip/AP Photo)

This story originally appeared on PA Post.

One Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to exempt athletes from state income taxes on Olympic medals and related cash bonuses.

The U.S. Olympic Committee gives out extra money to medalists: $37,500 for a gold medal, $22,500 for a silver and $15,000 for bronze medals won at the Olympics and Paralympics.

Efforts to institute exemptions in MissouriNew Jersey and California have failed.

But Congress passed an exemption –with a single opposing vote – in 2016 as the Summer Olympics got underway, saving each medalist up to nearly $10,000 in federal income taxes.

If the bill backed by state Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Scranton, becomes law, Olympians and Paralympians wouldn’t have to pay state income taxes on their medals and prize money in Pennsylvania either.

And the commonwealth would join a handful of states with similar rules already in place, including IowaIndiana and Colorado. Some policies were retroactive to the 2012 Games and/or don’t apply to athletes who exceed income thresholds starting at $500,000.

The current version of Flynn’s bill doesn’t have an income cap or retroactivity provision.

His staff couldn’t immediately provide an estimated count of recent medalists, nor how much money would be involved in Pa., pending information from the USOC.

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