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Health care workers who volunteered to come to NY will have to pay state income tax, Gov. Cuomo says

Anyone from outside of New York who stayed to help fight the coronavirus pandemic for more than 14 days will be subject to pay.
Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference at his Midtown Manhattan office, September 14, 2018 in New York City. Cuomo discussed his primary night election victory as well as a range of other topics. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Health care workers sent from across the U.S. to New York--the nation's COVID-19 epicenter-- to help fight the virus will have to pay state income tax, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.  

The governor addressed the topic during a Tuesday news conference.

"We're not in a position to provide any more subsidies right now because we have a $13 billion deficit," Cuomo said. "So, there's a lot of good things I would 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 going to spend more money when I can't even pay the essential services.'"

According to Cuomo, the state needs help from Washington D.C. and federal funding to help cover the budget deficit created by the coronavirus in addition to being able to subsidize state income tax for those sent to aid New York.

"If we don't get more 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,” Cuomo said. 

Cuomo said he understands the polarization of Democratic and Republican partisan politics and the difficulties that come with that, but said New York still manages to "get the job done" and passed a budget every year. 

He also urged the president to be "the reasonable one" and to compromise when it comes to bipartisan legislation. 

“The congressional Democrats cannot pass a bill that forces them to savage their own states, they can’t," Cuomo said. "So, the president is looking at a scenario where he either is reasonable and bridges the gap, or they will not pass any legislation and then he will have failed and this nation will suffer. That is what the president is looking at.”

WPIX-TV reports the issue of outside health care workers being required to pay state income tax was uncovered when a temporary hospital in Central Park was being erected by Samaritan's Purse. 

"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?" Ken Isaacs, a vice president of the organization, said to WPIX.

"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.'"

Under this direction, any out-of-state-resident who headed to the Empire state to assist with COVID-19 will be subject to paying state income tax after a 14-day stay. The regulations do not apply to those who stayed for less. 

On May 5, Cuomo extended his executive order allowing health care workers to practice in New York state until June 4, saying: 

"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." 

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