Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce
One Computer Drive South
Albany, NY 12205
For Release: Immediate
(Albany) – The Capital District Regional Planning Commission, the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Schenectady County and the Center for Economic Growth have partnered to provide the ACCRA Cost of Living Index Calculator created by the Council for Community and Economic Research. The Cost of Living Index Calculator is accessible via the Capital District Regional Planning Commission’s Web site at www.cdrpc.org.
The Calculator allows individuals to calculate the cost of living index comparing the Capital Region to other regions across the United States. It is considered the most reliable source of region-to-region quarterly comparisons of key consumer costs and is referenced in the Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract of the United States. The Index measures relative price levels for consumer goods and services in participating areas. The average for all participating places, both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan, equals 100 and each participant’s index is read as a percentage of the average for all places.
Using $100,000 as the baseline for after-tax income in the city/region participants are comparing to the Capital Region, the calculator will tell participants the comparable after-tax income in the Capital Region based on the Composite Index of the costs of goods and services. If less than $100,000, then the cost of living is less in the Capital Region; if more, then the overall cost of living is greater. In addition to the Composite Index, there are six component indices: grocery items, housing, utilities, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods. There is an even further detailed comparative average price listing for each of the selected categories.
The Index reflects cost differentials for professional and executive households in the top income quintile influencing the weighting structure. Homeownership costs, for example, are based on the average cost of housing that is greater than it would be if it reflected a clerical worker standard of living or average cost for shelter. Also, since state and local tax burdens vary widely among states and metropolitan areas and within metropolitan areas, it is not feasible to calculate state and local tax burdens reliably and accurately. Therefore, the Index does not incorporate taxes levied on real and intangible property, retail purchases and income.
Data for the Capital Region is collected quarterly by graduate students enrolled in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University at Albany. The methodology, data requirements and parameters of the data collected are consistent nationwide in order to assure comparability among the participating regions.
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