125 North Fulton St. Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: (607) 273-4611
Toll Free: (877) 273-AFCU      Contact

Living Wage Notes 2007

NOTES: 2006 Livable Wage Computation

Rent: $628/month = $7536/year, 1Bedroom (+4.32%)
Fair Market Rent for a single bedroom in Tompkins County for 2006.
* 0 BR = $610, 2BR = $735, 3BR = $889, 4BR = $922

Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website provides “Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program for Fiscal year 2006



Food: $180.95/month = $2171.40/year (+7.77)
Average of low-cost food stamp plan for males and females ages 20-50/
Official USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food at home, U.S. Average, October 2006
Monthly cost of food on low-cost plan:
For men 20-50 years = $193.40
For women 20-50 years = $168.50
Average men and women = $180.95

Source: United States Department of Agriculture

USDA Cost of Food

Transportation: $164.22/month = $1970.6/year (+7.13%)
According to the 2000 U.S. Census, which is the most recent (no updates have been made), 59.8% drive, 12.2% carpool, 4.8% public transportation, 16.8% bike or walk, 1.3% motorcycle, and 5.1% work at home in Tompkins County.
The 2004 Consumer Expenditure Survey for the second quintile reports gasoline and motor oil to cost $1157 and other expenses to cost $1499

TCAT Yearly Pass = $495
(1157+1499)*0.733+(495)*0.048+(0)*0.168+(0)*0.051= 1970.6
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/cex/csxann04.pdf page 8/20

(2004 CES is the latest)
Census 2000
Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit TCAT Store


Communications: $56.48/month = $677.76/year
Telephone: $36.49/month = $437.88/year (-0.9%)
Tax included.

Source: Verizon Flat Rate Service plan for unlimited local calling ($24.57 including tax) and Talk Time 30 for 30 minutes of long distance calling ($5.4 including tax).
Verizon Local Plans

High Speed Internet: $19.99/month = $239.88/year
This is tax-free.
Source: Verizon DSL Starter Plan
Verizon Plans
We added the high-speed Internet because it’s become a basic necessity.

Health Care: $122.62/month = $1471.45/year (+21.1%)
Health Insurance
$336.32 * 0.25(75% paid by Alternatives FCU) = $84.08/month = $1008.95/year
Out of pocket expenses
Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey 2005, Northeast = [$582(medical services) + $429(drugs) + $99(medical supplies)] / 2.4(average number in consumer unit) = $462.5/year = $38.54/month

$84.08 + $38.54 = $122.62/month = $1471.45/year
Source: Alternatives Federal Credit Union
Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey 2005
Bureau of Labor Statistics page 3/4


*For comparison, $1181/year from Claritas Consumer Spending Patterns Report. It averages the costs for people with and without health insurance.

Recreation: $100/month $1200/year

Claritas changed some categories (added, combined, or removed) since the 2004 report, making it difficult to compare. This figure can vary greatly with each individual’s life-style. We moved high speed Internet connection to Communication and allocated $100/month and $1200/year for recreation.

Claritas lists these figures under recreation:

  2004 single 2006 single 2006 household
RECREATION 1271.04 1555 4061
Sports and Recreation   529 1382
TV, Radio, Sound Equip.   766 2000
Reading Materials re 260 679
Source: Claritas Consumer Spending Patterns 2006

Savings: $56/month = $672/year

Adjusted for inflation.

Source: The inflation calculator from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Miscellaneous: $105.08/month = $1261/year (-3.7%)

  2004 single 2006 single 2006 household
TOTAL MISC 1309.56 1261 3293.5
Apparel   478 1248.5
Footwear   203 530
Personal Care   355 926
Small Appl& Houseware   225 589

Source Claritas Consumer Spending Patterns 2006

NET (SUBTOTAL) $16960.21/year = $1413.35/month (+6.36%)


X - (x*.0765) - [755+ (x - 16,000)*.15} - [455+ (x-18,500)*.045] = 16,960.21



Payroll Tax 20,450 * .0765 = 1,564.43

Federal Tax 755 + (20,450 - 16,000) * .15 = 1,422.50

State Tax 455 + (20,450 - 18saY,500) * .045 = 542.75 -$40 household credit = $502.75

TOTAL Annual Living Wage $20,450

Day Care:
Informational. Not included in Living Wage calculation.
Day Care: $702.72/month for infant/toddler, $661.44/month for preschool
In the 2005 Livable Wage Study, the Source was the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NCCRRA)


They have not updated this report and I thought the Day Care Council would give me a more geographically specific numbers, so I called the Day Care Council.

Source:Day Care & Child Development Council of Tompkins County, Inc


607) 273-0259

*Minimum wage in New York State is $7.15/hr = $14872/yr (40hr/wk, 52wks/yr)

*Federal Poverty Level: $9800 for single person

*Average household size for Tompkins County is 2.61

*The Self-Sufficiency Standard first Tompkins County $18384 for 2006.
This was derived by inflating the SSS for 2000 by the CPI.
*Inflation rate over the last two years was 6.72% (from 2004 to 2006)

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