125 North Fulton St. Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: (607) 273-4611
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Living Wage Notes - 2000 Study


We used HUD's fair market rent, which is $504 for 2001 for Tompkins County and includes all utilities except telephone (discussed later).

Source: HUD website - http://www.huduser.org/datasets/fmr.html - download the final fair market rents, and look in it for Tompkins County


According to Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council, 81.4% of TC residents use private transportation, 1.2% use public, 8.1% walk, 2.3% bike, 7.0% other.

People using public transportation would be $0.75 each ways $7.50 per week, plus 3 other trips for shopping, giving a total of $12/week or $48/mo or $576/year.

WOW estimated that to have a car would cost $2,220.

Claritas estimated $33 per year expenditure for bicyclists.

And we assume that walking incurs no extra costs.

A weighted average can be computed like this:

(.814)(2220) + (.012)(576) + (.081)(0) + (0.023)(33) to get an average of $1,814.75

Sources: WOW Self-Sufficiency Study, Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council, Bureau of Transportation Statistics website - www.bts.gov, Claritas Spending Patterns Survey.


Low-cost plan from USDA Food Stamp Program for ages 20-50 is (monthly) for males $162.50 and for females $142.10 - the average is $152.30 (in October 2000).

Source: USDA Food Stamp Website - http://www.usda.gov/cnpp/using3.htm


$25.97 from Verizon for unlimited local service.

Source: Verizon - 1-800-555-5000

Health Care

Health Insurance Premiums 2001

Univera (PHP)

Individual coverage $2700 Staff pays 25% =$675=56.25/mo

Blue Cross/Blue Shield $3300 Staff pays 25% = $825=68.75/mo

Univera (PHP) has a prescription plan. You pay $10 for generic prescriptions. You pay $20 for name brand if it is on the formulary. If the drug is not on the formulary, you pay the co-pay and the difference of the generic and the non-generic versions.

Univera (PHP) copay - you pay $15 for office visits. You must have a plan doctor. If you go to a different dr. you must have a referral from your plan Dr.

We decided that 4 visits average per year would be reasonable

$675 (plan)

+ $ 60 (co-pay for 4 visits)

+ $29.60(glasses)

+ $132.80(dental)

+ $55.20(non-prescrip)

+ $40 (prescrip.)

= $992.60 annual

= $82.72 mo.

Source - Sharon Kinnan, HR Manager and Claritas Spending Patterns Survey for Tompkins County


We used Claritas estimates. It was difficult to decide exactly which categories to include, but we used expenses such as reading materials, radio/TV equipment, fees/admissions, money for lodging while out of town and airline expenses for trips, and other entertainment. The final total came out to $107.23 per mo. or $1,286.76

Source: Claritas Spending Patterns Survey for Tompkins County


We kept the figure from previous studies of $50 per month.


We again used Claritas, and put in clothes (average of male and female apparel and footwear spending), personal care items, housekeeping and garden, major appliances, furniture, small appliances, and miscellaneous household equipment. This came out to $1,263.47 per year plus taxes ($101.08) so $1,364.55 per year, or $113.71 per month.

Source: Claritas Spending Patterns Survey for Tompkins County


These were calculated using a spreadsheet given to us by our CFO.

Source: Gerry Ruggiero, CFO

Other Figures

Day care - WOW study - infant = $422/mo.

preschooler = $459/mo.

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