A group of state legislators is looking to prevent that situation from happening in California with new legislation to exempt Golden State Olympians from paying state taxes on their medals and prize money.
The tax rate on medal earnings varies based on income levels, but the office of Republican Assemblyman Allan Mansoor, one of the authors of the bill, estimates that a gold medal winner would pay an average of $1,450 in state taxes. An athlete who brings back the bronze would owe an average of $580.
While taxes on the victory earnings have generated plenty of buzz on the national front as well since the London games began, supporters of this bill say the issue is particularly relevant in the Golden State because California athletes make up nearly a quarter of the United States Olympic delegation.
The proposal, which is being amended into a current Assembly bill this week, has bipartisan backing. Democratic Sens. Ron Calderon and Lou Correa and Republican Assemblymen Curt Hagman and Chris Norby have joined Mansoor as co-authors on the bill.
"These Californian athletes are a true representation of success and hard work," the authors said in a joint statement. "They are an inspiration to the next generation of American Olympic athletes, and we should honor them in the same way that they honor us through their passion and dedication."
PHOTO CREDIT: Allyson Felix crosses the finish line to win the 200-meter gold medal. The California resident took the silver medal in the previous two Olympics. Matt Dunham/Associated Press.