New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed on Tuesday that healthcare workers who traveled to New York to help fight the pandemic will have to pay state income taxes because the state can’t afford to be generous amid the pandemic-driven economic fallout.
Cuomo, at his daily COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday, said the states are “in dire financial circumstances” due to business shutdowns that were imposed to contain the outbreak of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, the novel coronavirus that emerged from China late last year.
New York State, a virus hot spot, requested healthcare workers from across the nation to come and help with frontline response efforts. Any of those that heeded the call and remained in the state for longer than 14 days are liable for the state’s income tax.
Cuomo, in separate remarks to reporters on Tuesday, said the financial stress New York State is under due to the pandemic means it cannot afford to give a tax break to the thousands of healthcare workers who came from out of state to assist with response efforts, reported Pix11.
“We’re not in a position to provide any subsidies right now because we have a $13 billion deficit,” Cuomo said.
“So there’s a lot of good things I’d like to do, and if we get federal funding, we can do, but it would be irresponsible for me to sit here looking at a $13 billion deficit and say I’m gonna spend more money, when I can’t even pay the essential services,” Cuomo added.
At Tuesday’s COVID-19 briefing, Cuomo repeated his earlier calls for more federal funding.
“Then comes the coronavirus, our economy stops because we shut it down, now we have a $13 billion deficit,” Cuomo said, adding that it is due to the outbreak that New York State now finds itself having to ask for federal funding, not fiscal mismanagement.
His comments appear to refer to remarks made by President Donald Trump on Monday, when the president sought to draw a distinction between virus relief and bailouts, saying “it’s not fair” for Republican-led states to provide funds to Democrat-controlled ones that he said have been “mismanaged over a long period of time.”
Ken Isaacs, vice president of Samaritan’s Purse, a nonprofit that built a temporary hospital in Central Park to help with relief efforts, told Pix11 he found the idea of out-of-state volunteers having to pay the state’s income tax shocking.
“Our financial comptroller called me, and he said, ‘Do you know that all of you are going to be liable for New York state income tax?’ I said, ‘What?’ [The comptroller] said, ‘Yeah, there’s a law. If you work in New York State for more than 14 days, you have to pay state income tax,'” Isaacs said.