ALBANY, NY – With the May tax deadline just around the corner, Senator Sue Serino joined her colleagues in advancing a bipartisan amendment that would exclude unemployment income from taxable income for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the fact that the amendment brought to the Senate floor by Senator Jim Tedisco had bipartisan support, the Supermajority rejected it outright.
“Countless New Yorkers were out of work at one time or another during the pandemic because the government expressly prohibited their place of employment from operating,” said Senator Sue Serino. “To tax the unemployment benefits these New Yorkers were forced to apply for only adds insult to injury. When asked to stay home in the name of public health, New Yorkers stepped up to the challenge and did their part, and now it is time for the state to do right by its residents by ensuring they do not face another financial hardship at the hands of state policy.”
While the federal government has excluded the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits from 2020 taxable income, New York State has failed to follow suit.
According to statistics provided by the Department of Labor, 4.6 million New Yorkers received unemployment and pandemic unemployment benefits since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The $10,200 exemption provided in the amendment would bring the state in line with the federal exemption and cover the 17-week period where New Yorkers were provided a $600 per week unemployment benefit. A number of states have already made the move to exempt these benefits, including neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania.