Capitol Alert

Bay Area generates bumper crop of state income taxes

San Francisco Bay not only has the Golden Gate Bridge but it’s a golden region for the state treasury, generating far more income tax revenue per capitra than any other areas of the state.
San Francisco Bay not only has the Golden Gate Bridge but it’s a golden region for the state treasury, generating far more income tax revenue per capitra than any other areas of the state. mcrisostomo@sacbee.com

The seemingly boundless wealth produced by the Bay Area’s technology-driven economy, vis-a-vis the rest of the state, is starkly evident in a new analysis of personal income tax data.

The Legislature’s budget analyst, Mac Taylor, disaggregated recently released 2013 income tax numbers from the Franchise Tax Board by geographic region. His staff discovered that on a per capita basis, the roughly six million residents of the immediate Bay Area paid an average of $3,119 in state taxes, well over twice the state average of $1,460.

To frame the contrast another way, the Bay Area generated $19.9 billion in income taxes for 2013, while Los Angeles County, with a much-larger population of 10 million, produced just $13.5 billion, and its per capita tax, $1,345, was even below the state average.

The Riverside-San Bernardino county region was California’s least producer of income taxes, in relative terms. It generated just $530 per capita, a sixth of the Bay Area’s revenue output.

The San Joaquin Valley was second lowest at $541, and the northernmost belt of counties was a close third at $542.

Although Los Angeles County was a tax laggard, in relative terms, adjacent Orange County had the second highest per capita income tax production at $1,724, followed by Ventura County at $1,360.

Call The Bee’s Dan Walters, (916) 321-1195. Back columns, sacbee.com/walters. Follow him on Twitter @WaltersBee.

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