New York slaps income tax on Christian volunteers that ran COVID-19 field hospital
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NEW YORK CITY, May 8, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – When COVID-19 struck New York harder than any other state in America, the Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse organized volunteers to establish a field hospital to help those in need. Now New York officials are attempting to charge the organization for what it gave the state.
At the request of Mount Sinai Health System, Samaritan’s Purse set up the 68-bed field hospital in New York City’s Central Park and had more than 60 medical professionals working to care for the sick. The hospital, which ultimately served more than 300 patients, closed down after more than a month in consultation with Mount Sinai over patient load.
Yet the residents of other states who temporarily relocated to help out New Yorkers are now being made to pay income taxes, PIX 11 reported. At issue is a provision of New York law that requires anyone working in the state for more than 14 days to pay state income taxes – regardless of whether any income they made during that time came from New York or their home state.
"We're not in a position to provide any subsidies right now because we have a $13 billion deficit," Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "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."
Mount Sinai are “the ones who called us originally,” evangelical leader and Samaritan’s Purse president Rev. Franklin Graham explained to Faithwire. “We didn’t call them; they called us. And we agreed to go and we have not charged them one penny. All of our services have been paid by God’s people.”
Ever since it was first set up, the Christian charity’s field hospital was a target of outrage from left-wing, secular, and pro-LGBT circles. Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio went so far as to declare he was “very concerned” about Graham’s public statements defending a Biblical understanding of human sexuality, and therefore his office would “monitor” the hospital for potential signs of anti-LGBT discrimination.
“These New York politicians, it seems, are too ignorant to understand that medical professionals will be treating the pandemic patients, not Graham personally,” LifeSiteNews’ Jonathon Van Maren wrote. “They also appear to miss the irony of the fact that Samaritan’s Purse is necessary because of the failure of local politicians like themselves (who conveniently blame the federal government in order to deflect responsibility). And in all of this, they reveal once again that they are small-minded, bigoted, and silly men: So ignorant that they do not understand the Christian faith that has animated charity work and transformed societies for 2,000 years, and so hate-filled that they find it ‘disturbing’ that Christian volunteers are permitted to step in and save lives.”
As of May 8, the United States is estimated to have seen more than 1.3 million cases of COVID-19, with 78,296 deaths and 221,254 recoveries. New York has been hit harder than anywhere else in the U.S., with 340,472 cases and 26,581 deaths.