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Median income takes a dip

Feather Publishing
3/20/2011
The statewide median income for all 2009 personal income tax returns decreased to $34,079 (5.1 percent below 2008), while the median income listed on joint returns decreased to $65,025 (5.7 percent below 2008), according to statistics released this month by the Franchise Tax Board (FTB).
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The four Bay Area counties of Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo and Santa Clara have led California for 38 years in reported highest median incomes.

"Median income" is the point where half of the income reported on tax returns is above and half is below the midpoint of the range of values. Median income represents the amount reported by a typical California individual or couple.

California taxpayers filed 15.3 million 2009 state income tax returns, reporting $1.08 trillion in adjusted gross income, a 2.9 percent decrease from 2008 figures. Adjusted gross income is total income increased or reduced by specific adjustments, before taking the standard or itemized deduction.

Marin County had the highest median income for joint returns at $108,465, a decrease of 8.6 percent from 2008. San Mateo County ranked second with $95,176, Santa Clara County ranked third with $94,209, Contra Costa County ranked fourth with $85,942 and Alameda County ranked fifth with $83,886.

Imperial County had the lowest median income for all returns ($22,841) and joint returns ($36,532).

Los Angeles County taxpayers filed 25.5 percent of all 2009 income tax returns in California. They reported median incomes of $30,112 for all returns, and $56,438 for joint returns, ranking 34th and 27th, respectively, for all counties. The largest percentage gain in median income for all counties was 7.5 percent, reported in Alpine County.


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