Joe Chen

New York policy leaders say that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to not exempt out-of-state health care workers from the state’s income tax makes the state appear ungrateful for their help.

“Cuomo told those he was asking to come to New York, if you help us, we’ll return the favor,” Steve Malanga, a George M. Yeager fellow at the Manhattan Institute and City Journal’s senior editor, told the Center Square. “By contrast, Cuomo’s action at a time of great need may undermine support for New York around the country.”

New York was the U.S. epicenter of COVID-19 cases during much of the pandemic and sought health care workers from other states to help treat patients.

At a news conference in early May, Cuomo said he couldn’t make an exemption for out-of-state health care workers when the state budget was in such a deficit because of COVID-19 restrictions that he couldn’t even pay essential services.

“The reality is that the revenue loss to the state would have been trivial and microscopic,” Edmund J. McMahon, the Empire Center of Public Policy’s founder and research director, told the Center Square. “His real concern probably had more to do with fear of opening a pandora’s box – since so many other essential workers commuting to [New York] from [New Jersey] and [Connecticut] are also paying New York state taxes, along with hundreds of thousands of normally Manhattan-based workers now working from home in other states.”

Ken Issacs, vice president of Samaritan’s Purse, the organization that had set up and run a temporary hospital in Central Park, told PIX11 News he is concerned not only about the money the workers lose, but also about the paperwork the volunteers will have to file in New York.

“There is already a pushback against the big requests for federal aid coming out of some states, especially New York,” Malanga said. “Cuomo thinks the state deserves a big piece of the federal pie because it had so many virus cases, but appearing ungrateful doesn’t help him build support.”

© 2020 The Center Square

You may also like

State’s Growing Budget Hole Threatens NYC Jobs and Aid as Congress Takes a Holiday

“The biggest problem for the state is the enormous, recurring structural budget gap starting next year and into the future,” said E.J. McMahon of the conservative-leaning Empire Center. “Cuomo clearly hopes that starting in 2021, (Democratic presidential candidate Joseph) Biden and a Democratic Congress will provide states and local government a couple of year’s worth of added stimulus. Read More

How Andrew Cuomo became ‘maybe the most powerful governor’ in U.S.

Ed McKinley ALBANY — When the New York Constitution was reorganized nearly 100 years ago to give the governor more power over the budget process,  noted there was a risk of making “the governor a czar." M Read More

Study disputes Cuomo on Trump tax package; experts say it’s complicated

Michael Gormley ALBANY — A new study by a conservative think tank says President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax law gave most New Yorkers a tax cut, even as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo insists on repealing the measure because he says it will cost New Yo Read More

Empire Center sues Department of Health over nursing home records

Johan Sheridan ALBANY, N.Y. () — The Empire Center filed a  against the state Department of Health on Friday. “This case isn’t about assigning blame or embarrassing political leaders,” said Bill Hammond, the Empire Center’s Read More

Good news: That New York pork isn’t going out the door after all

The Empire Center first reported Tuesday that grants — 226 of them, totaling $46 million, to recipients selected by the governor and individual state lawmakers — seemed to still be going ahead. Read More

New York Lawmakers Seek Independent Probe of Nursing-Home Coronavirus Deaths

With lingering questions about how the novel coronavirus killed thousands of New Yorkers who lived in nursing homes, a group of state lawmakers is pushing to create an independent commission to get answers from the state Department of Health. Read More

Policy analyst: Cuomo wrong to write-off nursing home criticism as political conspiracy

“The importance of discussing this and getting the true facts out is to understand what did and didn’t happen so we can learn from it in case this happens again,” Hammond said. Read More

EDITORIAL: Nursing home report requires a second opinion

No doubt, the Health Department and the governor would like this report to be the final word on the subject. But if it’s all the same with them, we’d still like a truly independent review. Read More


Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.


Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100
Fax: 518-434-3130


The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.