Cuomo signs bill to extend tax deadlines for unpaid federal workers

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday signed a bill giving federal workers affected by the recent shutdown the possibility of 90-day extensions on paying property-tax bills that were due one day earlier or they would start accruing penalties.

The bill, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. James Skoufis, D-Woodbury, gives counties and municipalities the option to pass resolutions granting delays to federal employees who were either furloughed or forced to work without pay during the 35-day shutdown. Both chambers had passed the bill with only two Assembly dissenters on Monday and rushed it to the governor.

Cuomo also announced Friday that the same federal workers will be granted a 90-day extension on the April 15 deadline for filing income tax returns, and will be given expedited unemployment service and public assistance for rent, groceries and utilities.

“While the federal administration played politics with the livelihoods of thousands of workers, the State of New York is once again stepping up to help working families,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Many New Yorkers have state and local tax bills or installment payments due in the first few months of the year, and the actions we are taking today will provide badly needed relief for federal employees who were forced to miss paychecks because of the federal shutdown.

Skoufis had sent out his own press an hour before Cuomo’s to blast him for not signing the bill yet in spite of the passed due date. “Any action at this point is too little, too late since the vast majority of the 16,000 furloughed families were required to send in their property tax payments by yesterday’s deadline,” he said.

Workers affected by the shutdown included roughly 230 employees of Otisville Federal Correctional Institution in western Orange County, who were forced to continue working during shutdown. They missed one paycheck in January and were on the verge of missing another one week ago when President Trump relented in his standoff with congressional Democrats over funding for a border wall.

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