New legislation in Colorado which means taxes will not apply to medals and bonuses won by United States athletes at Olympic and Paralympic Games has been praised.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper sanctioned house bill 1104 which reinforces the United States Appreciation for Olympians and Paralympians Act, a federal law that was passed in October 2016 to withdraw federal taxes for all Games medal related income in 2018 and beyond.
In addition to medals, the bill also exempts taxes on monetary awards given to athletes for winning medals that may be granted by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), or any sport-specific National Governing Body or Paralympic sport organisation.
"America's athletes and their families dedicate much of their lives and make considerable financial sacrifices to represent the United States on the world stage," said USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun.
"Unlike athletes in virtually all other countries, US Olympians and Paralympians do not receive federal funding and must rely on the generous support of the American public and private sponsors for support.
"This legislation will provide much needed financial support to some of Colorado’s most dedicated amateur athletes and ensure their achievements are not devalued, but celebrated.
"USOC is proud to be based in Colorado, a state that recognises the unique sacrifices of Team USA athletes.”
However, the state tax exemption does not apply to athletes who make an "adjusted annual gross income" exceeding $1 million (£770,000/€890,000) or $500,000 (£385,000/€445,000) if married and filing individually.
Governor Hickenlooper joined members of the US Olympic and Paralympic teams to sign the bill at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
“With no federal funding, many athletes make financial sacrifices in order to represent our country at the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Mikaela Shiffrin, the Sochi 2014 Olympic Alpine skiing champion.
“The Colorado initiative to eliminate taxes on medal earnings will have a positive impact on the many local athletes who compete for Team USA.
"Thank you, Colorado.”