After following “Missouri Proposition D, the Gas Tax Increase, Olympic Prize Tax Exemption, and Traffic Reduction Fund Measure,” in the news and in some Letter to the Editor sections across the state, it appears there has been some confusion on how it relates to Special Olympics athletes and the medals they win at their competitions. The ballot measure mentions that a “yes” vote (among other things) “exempts prizes for Special Olympics, Paralympics, and Olympics from state taxes.”
Special Olympics athletes are not currently taxed for winning any awards.
Special Olympics is an international sports organization in more than 170 countries that provides sports training and competition, health and wellness programs, and leadership and life training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In Missouri, we serve more than 15,400 athletes every year through more than 250 trainings and competitions around the state.
Our athletes train for weeks and months at a time, honing their skills as much as possible before competition. They will then have the opportunity to compete against others and earn a bronze, silver or gold medal. These awards mean a lot to our athletes and are proof to themselves and the rest of the world that they can train and compete just like any other world-class athlete.
Special Olympics Missouri athletes do not have to pay any tax on awards they win in any competitions, including the local, regional, state, national or world level. In fact, Special Olympics athletes are not awarded cash prizes at any level of competition.
Special Olympics Missouri is a non-political organization as a 501c3 charity. We are not commenting on what way people should vote on Prop D, but we felt it was important to make sure the public understood that Special Olympics Missouri athletes are not taxed in any way for their prizes.
Mark Musso, President/CEO
Special Olympics Missouri