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

A lot will change in President Obama’s vision of the “new economy,” according to his State of the Union address Tuesday night. Here’s how five key points will directly affect Hudson Valley residents

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.

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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. 

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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.

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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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