Healthcare workers who volunteered to help New York hospitals handle the overflow of coronavirus patients will now have to pay New York state income taxes on any income they may have earned while they were working on the front lines in the epicenter of the nation’s pandemic.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of doctors and nurses flocked to New York — and, in particular, New York City — to assist hospitals running short on staff needed to take care of patients stricken with COVID-19, many of whom required intensive, around-the-clock care.
Many, like the volunteers with Samaritan’s Purse, which set up a field hospital to care for coronavirus patients who did not require intensive care services, left paying jobs to work on the front lines, heeding New York’s desperate pleas.
Now, New York governor Andrew Cuomo says, if any of those healthcare workers received income from other sources while they were working in New York hospitals, those healthcare workers will have to pay New York its fair share — and no exceptions can be made, because the state is running $13 billion in the red.
“We’re not in a position to provide any subsidies right now because we have a $13 billion deficit,” Cuomo said Tuesday at a press conference, according to local news outlets. “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 also said that if New York does not receive a bailout in the next coronavirus relief package, he may be forced to make deeper cuts.
“If we don’t get more money from Washington, we can’t fund schools, right, so at the rate we want to fund them. We are in dire financial need,” Cuomo said.
Non-profit heads, including the coordinators for Samaritan’s Purse, were left shocked by the news that their doctors, nurses, and other volunteer workers would be on the hook for taxes in New York state.
“Our financial comptroller called me,” said Ken Isaacs, Samaritan’s Purse’s vice president told local media, “and he said, ‘Do you know that all of you are going to be liable for New York state income tax?’”
“I said, ‘What?’” he continued. “Yeah, there’s a law. If you work in New York State for more than 14 days, you have to pay state income tax.”
He went on to say that the money doesn’t bother them so much as the mountain of paperwork that will be required both for the organization and for its volunteers: “What we’re even more concerned about than the money is the bureaucracy, and the paperwork, and I think that once that’s unleashed…once you start filing that, you have to do that for like a whole year or something.”
The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media’s rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.