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Obama’s State Of the Union Address and Its Economic Impact On the Hudson Valley


President Obama made some pretty bold economic proposals to address America’s worsening wealth/income gap during last night’s State of the Union. Here’s a look into how those proposals might affect us here in the Hudson Valley.

More: Read the full State of the Union address here

Child Care Tax Credit

Proposal: Increase the childcare tax credit to up to $3,000 per child.

The average yearly cost of child care in the Hudson Valley, according to Gillibrand.senate.gov, is $13,341 for an infant, $11,261 for a toddler, and $11,254 for a school-age child. In the Capital Region, child care costs an average of $9,796 (infant), $8,918 (toddler), and $8,179 (school-age child). Here’s how it breaks down by county:

  • Albany: $11,362 (under 2), $10,140 (age 3-5), $9,620 (age 6-12)
  • Columbia: $10,660 (under 2), $9,516 (age 3-5), $9,204 (age 6-12)
  • Dutchess: $12,350 (under 2), $10,244 (age 3-5), $11,596 (age 6-12)
  • Greene: $8,736 (under 2), $8,060 (age 3-5), $7,072 (age 6-12)
  • Orange: $11,622 (under 2), $10,140 (age 3-5), $9,620 (age 6-12)
  • Putnam: $15,444 (under 2), $13,000 (age 3-5), $13,624 (age 6-12)
  • Rensselaer: $10,660 (under 2), $9,516 (age 3-5), $9,204 (age 6-12)
  • Rockland: $15,444 (under 2), $13,000 (age 3-5), $13,624 (age 6-12)
  • Sullivan: $8,736 (under 2), $8,060 (age 3-5), $7,072 (age 6-12)
  • Ulster: $11,362 (under 2), $10,140 (age 3-5), $9,620 (age 6-12)
  • Westchester: $18,434 (under 2), $14,248 (age 3-5), $13,624 (age 6-12)


Community College

Proposal: First two years of community college free.

Here are the current costs of one full-time semester (12 credits or more) at a few of the region’s community colleges*:

*At many area community schools, prospective out-of-county residents MUST provide a certificate in order to obtain New York State resident tuition rates. 


Gender Wage Gap

Proposal: “This Congress still needs to pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work. Really. It’s 2015. It’s time.”

According to the National Women’s Law Center, women working full-time and year-round in New York State earn $0.86 cents for every dollar her male counterpart makes ($44,114 median earnings for women; $51,414 for men). That’s a considerable gap, even if it’s the second narrowest in the nation, behind only the District of Columbia, and above the national average of $0.78 cents for every dollar.


Tax Increases on the Wealthy

Proposal: Raise the tax on capital gains from 20 percent to 28 percent for couples who earn more $500,000 annually.

According to the Hudson Valley Regional Council, here’s the median household income* for Hudson Valley residents per county: 

By comparison, the median for New York State is $55,233.

*According to 2013 report, which provides data from 2011.


Minimum Wage

Proposal: Raise the minimum wage to $10.10.

New York State’s minimum wage is $8.75. According to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, the living wages for a single adult, an adult with one child, and an adult with two children, respectively, are:


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