Accuracy in Media

The mainstream media turned a blind eye to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pandemic response on nursing homes, and now, his rejection of waiving state income taxes on out-of-state health care volunteers.

The state of New York accepted out-of-state health care volunteers, such as nurses or doctors, who traveled to the state to aid its health care industry during the coronavirus pandemic. One of the volunteer groups, a Christian group known as Samaritan’s Purse, discovered that the state of New York imposes income taxes on individuals who worked at least two weeks in New York.

Cuomo could have waived the state income tax requirement but chose not to due to the pandemic’s impact on tax revenue.

When asked, Cuomo said the state is “not in a position to provide any subsidies right now because we have a $13 billion deficit.” Neither the media nor Cuomo acknowledged that it could be disingenuous for the state to tax health care volunteers who came to perform altruistic public service while helping with potentially life-saving medical services. Cuomo should have warned volunteers of the New York state income tax provision beforehand, but he did not do so.

Now, health care volunteers will face an unexpected New York state income tax bill next year.

Among mainstream media outlets, only Fox News covered Cuomo’s resistance to giving up potential tax revenue during a pandemic. Fox News headlined the controversy, “Samaritan’s Purse, other workers who came to NY for coronavirus fight must pay state income tax, Cuomo says.” CNN, CBS News, ABC News, NBC News, and the New York Times did not cover Cuomo’s decision.




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