New Jersey Olympians shouldn’t have to pay state income taxes on winnings, says Dancer

August 11, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–New Jersey athletes brought home nine medals — five gold, four silver and two bronze — from the 2020 summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. Now, Assemblyman Ron Dancer wants to shield those winnings from state income taxes through legislation he introduced in May. 

His bill (A4109) would exempt the value of awards or prizes won at the Olympic Games from state income taxes.

“Our Olympic medalists have made tremendous sacrifices to represent our nation. We should be encouraging their efforts, supporting individualism and celebrating their accomplishments, not imposing a tax for winning,” Dancer (R-Ocean) said. 

Twenty-three New Jersey Olympians competed in this year’s summer games. State athletes represented Team USA in track and field, fencing, rowing, soccer, triathlon, swimming, Judo, gymnastics, and equestrian jumping.

“New Jersey track stars and gold medalists Sydney McLaughlin and Athing Mu broke world and U.S. records respectively, and Toms River’s own Todd Frazier won a silver in baseball,” Dancer continued. “I want to honor our Olympians for their success, for reaching the pinnacle of their sport, and for showing the world the talent and athleticism bred in New Jersey.”

In 2016, Congress eliminated a so-called “victory tax.” Olympians who report a gross income of less than $1 million a year do not have to pay federal taxes on their medal winnings. Dancer’s bill would exclude the Olympic prizes from state income taxes.

U.S. Olympians who reach the podium receive payments of $37,500 for every gold medal won, $22,500 for silver and $15,000 for bronze. Pots are divided up evenly to each member in team competitions.