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State Reports on Median Income for 2009 Median and total income falls

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For Immediate Release


The statewide median income for all 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 today by the Franchise Tax Board (FTB).

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 one-half of the income reported on tax returns is above and one-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.

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.

For specific county information, see the attached chart. For 1999-2008 data, go to and check under previous news releases.

For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit:

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