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Tri-State Area Would Suffer In Event Of Federal Government Shutdown

Getting Passports, Filing Your Taxes Would Also Be Impacted
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U.S. Passport

United State passport. (AP photo)

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The Tri-State Area has a lot at stake as Republicans and Democrats in Washington try to avoid a federal government shutdown.

In the event of a shutdown, 800,000 federal employees would not get paid, tax refunds would stall, home buyers would not get papers processed, and small businesses would not get government loans.

Of New Jersey’s 28,000 federal workers, about half will be furloughed. The other half, which includes “essential personnel” like military troops, will have to report to work. However they won’t get paid until Congress approves retroactive pay.

Roughly 10 percent of New York City’s revenue comes from Washington. Thousands of locally-based federal workers would be furloughed, including those who work in federal courts, process passports and food stamps, and work at national parks.

Westchester County Clerk Tim Idoni was on the phone with the feds Thursday morning about the potential shutdown. His advice: if you need one a passport renewed any time soon, get it done now — as in right now.

“We’re going to keep on doing what we’re doing. We will continue to accept applications for passports. We’ll continue to process them at our end, but what we do is we send them to the federal agency, which will be shut down,” Idoni said.

In Connecticut, state labor commissioner Glenn Marshall assures the unemployed that their checks will continue to come through in the event of a federal government shutdown.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau with Glenn Marshall

Federal cash flowing to Connecticut will tighten up if any government shutdown drags on longer than three weeks. Gov. Dan Malloy says of big concern are Medicaid reimbursements.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau with Malloy

“The states are charged with executing many federal programs, the largest of which is Medicaid and those reimbursements need to be flowing on a daily basis,” Malloy told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau. “If they weren’t then we’d have to look at alternative ways of raising those funds on a temporary basis,”

That would mean short-term borrowing. Malloy has assigned a task force of his top officials to figure out the best way to manage Connecticut’s resources over the long term if necessary.

On top of all that, aren’t our federal tax returns are due in 10 days?

“It’s not a good time to have a government shutdown just before the tax deadline,” accountant Catherine Censullo told CBS 2’s Young.

No, it’s not, especially if you’re expecting a check from Uncle Sam in the mail this year.

“Anyone who’s got something that needs a hands intervention where someone’s going to have to print a check, mail it … that could be delayed,” Censullo said.

And if you ask on the street, that’s the one that’s going to hurt.

“People rely on the return. If they’re delayed a lot of people are gonna be in trouble,” said Mount Vernon resident Fernando Faria.

“They work hard all year, so they really need to get that check,” added Scott Newman of Harrison.

The people at the Internal Revenue Service have pointed out the filing deadline has already been technically extended to April 18 because of the way the holidays fall this year.

In the short term, a government shut down would not affect Social Security or Medicare checks. Anything longer than two weeks, though, would begin to cause serious delays.

A shutdown would also close the Statue of Liberty and other nationally prominent places and parks.

Republicans and Democrats were still billions of dollars apart ahead of the midnight Friday deadline.

President Barack Obama said he thinks there’s still time to reach a budget deal.

“We’re going to keep on pounding away at this because I am absolutely convinced that we can get this done,” the president said.

Added House Speaker John Boehner: “We continue to have productive conversations. You should all know they’re polite. They’re to the point.”

Are you concerned about a federal government shutdown? Leave a comment below…

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