Friday, April 06, 2007

Bay Area tops median income report

Bay Area tops median income report
East Bay Business Times - 9:39 AM PDT Friday, April 6, 2007

The statewide median income for all personal income tax returns rose 2.7 percent in 2005, and 4.1 percent for joint returns, according to statistics released by the Franchise Tax Board.

Four Bay Area counties again top California's 2005 median income report, according to the FTB. For the past 34 years, the counties of Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, and Santa Clara have consistently reported the highest median incomes.

"This income growth is welcome news," said State Controller and FTB Chair John Chiang.

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

California taxpayers filed 14.8 million 2005 state income tax returns with the FTB reporting slightly more than $1 trillion of adjusted gross income. Adjusted gross income is a tax term that means gross income minus specific tax deductions, but before Federal Schedule A itemized deductions. This is an increase of 4.2 percent over 2004 figures.

Marin County still has the highest median income for joint returns, reporting $107,856 -- an increase of 8 percent from 2004. San Mateo County ranked second with $89,672, while Santa Clara County ranked third with $89,618 and Contra Costa County ranked fourth with $83,605.

Los Angeles County taxpayers filed 25.6 percent of all 2005 income tax returns in California. They reported median incomes of $29,551 for all returns, and $54,583 for joint returns, ranking 39th and 32nd, respectively.

The largest percentage gain in median income for all counties was 9.4 percent, reported in Yuba County. For joint filed returns the largest increase was also in Yuba County, with an 11.3 percent increase. Last year's leader, Alpine County, ranked seventh this year.

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