New York State legislators have approved the Excluded Workers Fund in a $212 billion budget for the 2022 fiscal year, which will include $4 billion in tax increases on the wealthy and corporations, while simultaneously providing a staggering $15,600 payout to the state’s illegal immigrants at a cost of $2.1 billion.
Embattled Governor Andrew Cuomo’s website says the Excluded Workers Fund will “provide cash payments to workers who have suffered income loss due to COVID but who are ineligible for Unemployment Insurance or related Federal benefits due to their immigration status or other factors.”
The payout is nearly 10 times higher than federally issued $1600 stimulus checks in Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, a COVID-19 stimulus spending bill, which has been widely criticized for allocating as little as 6 to 9 percent of its funds to actual public health or pandemic relief.
Excluded Workers Fund hand-in-hand with tax hikes
According to the Albany Business Review, taxes will increase on individuals and couples earning either $1 or $2 million per year from 8.82 to 9.85 percent and two new brackets will be created, one for taxpayers making between $5 and $25 million at 10.85 percent, and another for those whose taxable income exceeds $25 million at 11.85 percent.
The article says those making more than $25 million will have the highest combined city and state tax rate in America at 14.85 percent. These figures are in addition to the federal tax rate.
Corporate franchise tax will also increase from 6.5 to 7.25 percent for a period of three years, but only if the business is making more than $5 million in income.
The tax hikes are anticipated to generate $4.3 billion and will be accompanied by legalized sports betting, whose revenue sharing is expected to generate an additional $500 million a year for the state.
The Excluded Workers Fund will be broken into “Tier One” and “Tier Two.” According to a fact sheet by the left-wing advocacy group Fund Excluded Workers, to be eligible for the Tier One system, which grants the $15,600 payout, illegal aliens will have to be unemployed due to COVID-19 lockdowns or a death in the family, be a resident of New York State prior to March 27, 2020, and provide either a tax return for 2018, 2019, or 2020 or a letter from an employer vouching for dates of work and reason for termination.
Eligible undocumented workers can also provide six weeks of paystubs, a W-2 or 1099 Form, or a Wage Theft Prevention Act Wage Notice.
Those who do not meet eligibility for Tier One may meet eligibility for a $3,200 payout under Tier Two, so long as they can prove residency, identity, and work-related eligibility.
The Fact Sheet says that illegals can prove residency with a driver’s license, utility bill, bank statement, or a non-expired Passport from another country. The Fund is expected to pay out to 290,000 people across the State, with 213,000 being residents of New York City.
According to the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI), who New York Times describes as “left-leaning,” the Fund will provide a major economic stimulus to State businesses, “when workers gain, so do the communities where they live. Shops, grocery stores, gas stations, and local businesses in general will see an uptick in sales.”
FPI says the Fund is “substantial enough to be compared to unemployment insurance, though it is still well below the amount other workers who lost their jobs could get.”
“For instance, a New York worker who was unemployed throughout the pandemic year and received the average weekly benefit would have received $34,000 over the course of the year. That same worker, if still unemployed through September of 2021, the end of the currently approved time for enhanced unemployment benefits to address the pandemic, would receive a combined total of $50,000 over the nearly 2-year period.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual pay for a retail worker in New York State in 2018 was $36,528 and $38,447 in 2019.