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Health care workers who traveled to New York to help fight the most severe coronavirus outbreak in the country will have to pay state taxes, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Medical professionals who came to New York from other parts of the country at Cuomo's request must pay tax on the income earned while they worked to help COVID-19 patients, even if they were kept on the payroll at home.
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"We're not in a position to provide any more subsidies right now because we have a $13 billion deficit," Cuomo said during a Tuesday press conference. "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 said the state already needs federal aid to cover budget deficits as a result of the virus outbreak.
"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," he said.
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New York has one of the highest income tax rates in the nation.
Still, not all health care workers who worked in the state will be subject to New York's taxes. Individuals who were in New York for fewer than 14 days will not have to pay income tax on their income.
Thousands of emergency workers have responded to Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's requests for assistance.
The U.S. has more 1.23 million confirmed cases, the most in the world, and 73,566 deaths caused by COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University data. As of Thursday morning, 25,720 people in New York had died from the virus.