Frontline healthcare workers who traveled to New York to assist the state with the coronavirus outbreak will be required to pay state taxes, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) confirmed this week.
When asked if he considered waiving the state tax for emergency workers who volunteered to travel and work in New York, an epicenter of the virus in the United States, Cuomo quickly dismissed the idea.
“We’re not in a position to provide any subsidies right now because we have a $13 billion deficit,” Cuomo told reporters.
“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,” he continued, pivoting to money for schools.
“If we don’t get money from Washington, we can’t fund schools, right? So– at the rate we want to fund them. So we are in dire financial need,” he added.
As PIX 11 reported, the issue of volunteer healthcare workers paying state taxes came up as a “temporary hospital in Central Park was being erected by Samaritan’s Purse”:
“Our financial comptroller called me,” said Ken Isaacs, a vice president of the organization, “and he said, ‘Do you know that all of you are going to be liable for New York state income tax?’”
“I said, ‘What?’” Isaacs continued. “[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.’”
“I didn’t know that,” Isaacs told PIX11 News.
Cuomo this week extended an executive order allowing healthcare workers to “continue practicing in the Empire State” until June 4:
We are forever indebted to the countless doctors, nurses, physician assistants, respiratory therapists and other health care professionals from neighboring states who came to help the family of New York when we needed it most. They helped us get through the worst of this pandemic, and we will never forget their sacrifice. Today I am extending the executive order that allows these heroes to continue practicing in the Empire State, because although the apex is behind us, we continue to need their support.
“Words cannot express how grateful we are to them and all the frontline workers who are carrying us through this difficult period, but we will continue to try every single day,” Cuomo added.