Byrne: Don’t Punish Out-Of-State Healthcare Workers Who Answered Our Plea for Help

Posted: May 12, 2020 in Health, In the News

            Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,Ref-Mahopac) is pleased to announce his full support and co-sponsorship of legislation introduced by Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino (R,C,I-Sayville) and Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) which would waive state income taxes for first responders, healthcare workers and other professionals who have come to New York to assist with the COVID-19 pandemic.

            “These brave men and women have come to our state to bolster our healthcare capacity and aid our state’s residents at a time when we needed them most,” said Byrne. “While they are rightfully compensated for their hard work, in some ways they should be viewed in a similar light as the brave men and women of our military who also answered the call to duty to support New York during this awful pandemic. These heroes deserve our thanks and praise. What they don’t deserve is to be punished and forced to open their wallets to pay New York’s state income tax. While our state remains in a difficult fiscal situation, it is at no fault of these brave and generous professionals. The overwhelming majority of these workers would not be here caring for our residents if not for the pandemic and New York’s plea for assistance.”

            Currently, the state requires that any person who works in New York for more than 14 days must pay state income tax on all money they have earned here. Gov. Cuomo has previously stated he does not intend to grant an exception for out-of-state workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our frontline workers have been so critical at keeping our communities safe and New Yorkers healthy during the coronavirus pandemic response. We cannot thank them enough, but we would like to show our gratitude in a more tangible way by waiving their New York state income taxes,” said Garbarino. “For every professional who came to New York to help and the others who have been here from the beginning, thank you. You are our heroes and we will fight for you as you fight for us.”

“These good Samaritans came to New York, literally risking their lives to protect us, during this global pandemic. It is ridiculous to now require them to pay our state income taxes which, of course, are probably higher than the income taxes in their home states,” said Boyle. “These brave professionals came to New York state, the epicenter of this pandemic, to help save us. Despite any economic issues we now have in Albany, requiring them to pay New York state income taxes is no way to treat our heroes.”

“The number one reason why our state took such significant measures to ‘flatten the curve’ was to not overwhelm our state’s healthcare capacity. Gov. Cuomo took decisive action to increase our state’s healthcare capacity by lifting regulatory burdens and putting out a public call for active and retired healthcare workers from across the nation to aid us, yet at the same time, he now demands they pay our state’s taxes. We need more incentives to recruit healthcare workers and emergency first responders to ensure our healthcare capacity is adequate to manage this disaster. We don’t need to create disincentives like added taxation, which will only push more willing healthcare workers away,” said Byrne.

Assemblyman Kevin Byrne is the ranking member of the Assembly Health Committee and represents the 94th Assembly District, including portions of Westchester and Putnam Counties.