I know this is a little late but I just found out about this recently. Apparently athletes who medal get an honorarium. The amount is based on the medal won. This amount, for U.S. athletes at least, is taxed. This is were the “debate” comes in. Apparently there are those who think these athletes should not have to pay taxes on this honorarium. They reason that these are individuals who have sacrificed a large portion of their lives to get to the top of their game AND they are representing the USA and therefore deserve a pass on paying the taxes.
Ok – here is were the problem comes in for me. If the athlete can prove that they never took advantage of any publicly provided facilities to train then by all means, let them go tax free. If however they used any tax payer funded facility, etc then they should pay the taxes. I am not a big sports fan, and do not avail myself of the publicly available tax payer funded recreation sites available. It angers me to drive through my town and pass by the soccer, baseball, basketball facilities, etc. that my tax dollars help fund. I am not against those things but let those who utilize them pay for them specifically and not penalize those who don’t.
On a side note this goes the same for the hordes of cyclists that clog the roads these days. If you are going to ride, follow the rules, single file, give way to motor vehicles, etc. To often that is not the case. I get behind a group who take the whole lane and you can not pass. Or you get the lone individual who rides in the center of the lane and will not give way. And don’t get me started on the mopeds, Vespa’s etc. If you use the road you should have to pay for that use. Bicycles and their ilk should be licensed and taxed. Oh and you should have a permit, license, etc. to operate it. Period. If you use it, you should have to pay for it and I should not have to subsidize your recreation.