FLORIDA — Some Florida healthcare workers are speaking out after New York’s Governor announced last week that any break from paying Big Apple taxes is a big fat no.
It was March 30 when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo first called on the nation for help.
“As Governor of New York, I am asking health care workers across the country, 'if you are not dealing with a crisis in your community, please come help us in New York now,'” he said during a press conference.
Thousands of healthcare workers responded, including nurse anesthetist Laura McGee of Clearwater and Florida nurse Jonathan.
“I really had no idea what I was going to walk into,” said McGee.
“There was a lot of dead I had to witness and had to be there for,” said Jonathan.
Both spent most of April on the frontlines in the Big Apple. And both are still recovering from the emotion of it all.
“One of the saddest things was when a son was with his parents. His father had just died a few weeks prior to the disease and then his mother. To lose both your parents in such a short time, I could never imagine,” said McGee through tears.
While their Florida employer paid each of them for their volunteer work in the Empire State, New York’s Governor recently announced he still plans to tax out-of-state healthcare workers who spent more than 14 days working on the frontlines there.
At more than 8%, New York has one of the highest state income taxes in the country. Governor Cuomo said his state is also facing a $13 billion deficit and needs every penny it can get.
Nurse McGee told us she has no problem paying the extra tax.
“I went to New York City to help. If a little bit of my paycheck is going to help New York City, then it helps,” she said.
Jonathan feels used.
“As someone who went, that’s kind of insulting to me. It’s like we’re just being used as a way for his state to pay off budget issues,” he said.
Governor Cuomo has hinted he would waive the state income taxes on healthcare workers who came to help if the feds give his state more money.
“It seems like healthcare workers are kind of being used as a pawn,” said Jonathan.
“I’m just really grateful that my family hasn’t been affected like this, and I feel so strongly for those people who have,” said McGee.
The President of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Lisa Moreno, told us she hadn’t heard about the tax on healthcare workers and plans to look into it.