When New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio begged for healthcare workers from across the country to come help manage the coronavirus outbreak in the state, which had become the hardest-hit region in the nation, many volunteers answered their call.
Now, they're paying for it. Literally.
According to Cuomo, these healthcare workers are going to have to pay state taxes—"even on income they might make from their home states that they're paid while in New York," according to PIX 11.
"We're not in a position to provide any subsidies right now because we have a $13 billion deficit," he said at a news conference on Tuesday. "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 added: "We are in dire financial need."
The issue first came up when the 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.
"What we're even more concerned about than the money," Isaacs continued, "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."
A top New York City certified public accountant explained the situation further in a FaceTime interview with PIX11 News at the time.
Entities from "these other states will have to register in New York," said Lawrence Spielman, a partner at the accounting firm Spielman, Koenigsberg & Parker, LLP, "and do withholding here in New York." (PIX 11)
As one of the highest tax states in the country, New York already had a problem with residents leaving in droves prior to the pandemic. Now, out-of-state volunteers can see why.