By Tayler Green
Winning a Nobel Prize, a Pulitzer Prize, a World Cup, an Olympic medal, or a Paralympic medal is a meritorious achievement. Elinor Ostrom, a professor who received a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, disproved the long-held idea that collectively-used natural resources “would be over-exploited and destroyed in the long-term.” John Hackworth and Brian Gleason, editors of the Sun Newspapers who received a Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Writing, wrote “fierce, indignant editorials that demanded truth and change after the deadly assault of an inmate by corrections officers.” Twenty-three soccer players who won the FIFA Women’s World Cup provoked former President Obama to remark, “Playing like a girl means being the best. . . . It means wearing our nation’s crest on your jersey, taking yourself and your country to the top of the world.” Laura Graves, who carried her dressage team to win an Olympic medal, hailed from a small Vermont farm and left her cosmetologist career “for a shot at turning the unruliest horse on the circuit into a dressage superstar.” Matt Stutzman, who won a Paralympic medal in archery, was born without arms but steadfastly trained to perfect his shooting method. Curiously, while each feat is a meritorious achievement, winning all but an Olympic or a Paralympic medal, generally, is a taxable achievement.
Tayler Green, Taxing Prizes and Awards: Proposed Amendments to Section 74 to Treat Meritorious Achievements Equitably, 70 SMU L. Rev. 509 (2017)