Gov. Andrew Cuomo Thanks Healthcare Volunteers From Other States By Sending Them a Bill

AP Photo/John Minchillo
AP featured image
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference alongside the National Guard at the Jacob Javits Center that will house a temporary hospital in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Monday, March 23, 2020, in New York. New York City hospitals are just 10 days from running out of “really basic supplies,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said late Sunday. De Blasio has called upon the federal government to boost the city’s quickly dwindling supply of protective equipment. The city also faces a potentially deadly dearth of ventilators to treat those infected by the coronavirus. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)


If anyone is still asking why most people aren’t rallying around New York, here’s a pretty good reason why.

As the pandemic raged in its early stages within the confines of New York City, a call went out for healthcare workers from across the country to leave their families and come help. The thought was that the healthcare system would be quickly overrun and that extra manpower and equipment would be vital. Emergency hospitals were erected and doctors and nurses from other areas arrived to help. While the doomsday scenarios didn’t come to pass as far as healthcare capacity goes, people answered the a call they otherwise didn’t have to (see Like NYC Firefighters on 9/11, US Doctors and Nurses Are Heroes Running Towards the Fire).

Their thanks? A tax bill.

NEW YORK — Health care workers that came to New York to help fight the coronavirus pandemic at its epicenter will have to pay state taxes, according to the governor.

He addressed the issues Tuesday at a news conference.

“We’re not in a position to provide any subsidies right now because we have a $13 billion deficit,” Gov. Andrew 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 could go to the State Legislature and get this fixed almost immediately, and that assumes he doesn’t have the power to suspend the taxes himself. Instead, he’s actually trying to hold people who volunteered hostage in order to force the Federal government’s hand on a bailout. Notice the mention of the deficit as the reason they can’t do the right thing here. That’s very calculated and it’s just a matter of time before the media are pushing the narrative that Republicans are hurting healthcare workers by not bailing out New York.

It gets worse though. These doctors and nurses who selflessly went to help will end up being taxed on income not even made in New York because of how ridiculous the tax laws are there.

Even though the state government asked thousands of people to come to New York from out of state to help fight coronavirus, they will have to pay New York state taxes, even on income they might make from their home states that they’re paid while in New York.

Cuomo said he needs help from Washington in order to cover budget deficits from COVID-19, let alone subsidize state income tax for essential workers that flocked to New York’s aid.

If I’m a healthcare worker who rearranged my life to go help New York at the call of Cuomo, I’m pretty upset right now. It’s not just about the money either. These doctors and nurses have to go pay accountants, register in New York, and muddle through the state’s bureaucracy from where ever they are from, all because they chose to go help people in need.


If a Republican were letting this happen in their state, it’d be a national scandal. But because it’s the golden boy in New York, Cuomo won’t even be pressed further. As a result, this will certainly make people think twice about lending a helping hand in the future and that’s a shame.



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