Each legislative session thousands of bills and amendments are introduced in the Pennsylvania Legislature. Only a fraction become law, and an even smaller portion receive wide media coverage.
These bills impact the lives of people living in Pennsylvania every day.
Each week The Sentinel will highlight one bill that has not received widespread attention.
About the bill
The Winter Olympics are underway in South Korea, and competitors are vying for more than gold medals and glory. They are competing for cold, hard cash.
Competitors from the United States who receive a gold medal get $37,500 from the U.S. Olympic Committee, $22,500 for a silver medal and $15,000 for bronze, according to Business Insider.
Since 2016, those winnings are exempt from federal taxes.
However, in Pennsylvania, any money won at the Olympics are considered income by the state and taxed as such.
Gold medalists would have to pay roughly $1,100 per medal in state income tax, silver medalists would pay roughly $690 and bronze medalists would pay about $460 under current law.
One lawmaker would like to see that changed.
Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna County, has introduced House Bill 908, which would exempt winnings from the Olympics and Paralympics from state income taxes.
“The United States is one of the few countries that does not provide government funding to its Olympians, and most rely on small stipends from the United States Olympic Committee, local support or supplemental income in order to compete,” Flynn wrote in a co-sponsorship letter. “By exempting their winnings from state income taxes, we show our appreciation for their sport and to their country.”
There are nine athletes from Pennsylvania competing in this year’s Olympic Games, including York County resident Summer Britcher, who will compete in the luge.