By Mark Glover
Published: Friday, Mar. 4, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 6B

The state provided yet more evidence Thursday of California paychecks shrinking during the recession.

Statewide median income for all personal income tax returns filed for 2009 was $34,079, down 5.1 percent from $35,923 in 2008, according to statistics released by the California Franchise Tax Board.

The tax board said median income listed on California joint returns for 2009 was $65,025, down 5.7 percent from $68,981 in 2008.

Median is the point at which half of reported incomes were more and half were less. The median is used to measure amounts “reported by a typical California individual or couple.”

The tax board disclosures dovetail with an August report by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, which said personal incomes of Golden State workers fell by about $40 billion in 2009 compared with 2008. It was the state’s first year-to-year decline in personal incomes since World War II.

The bureau said 2009 income statewide totaled $1.56 trillion, down about 2.5 percent from $1.6 trillion in 2008. California’s decline was a third more than the national 1.8 percent personal income drop, reflecting the relative intensity of the state’s recession.

In the Sacramento region, the bureau said income was off about $800 million.

The statistics released Thursday showed Sacramento County doing just slightly better than the state.

Median income for all personal income tax returns filed in Sacramento County for 2009 decreased to $34,954, down about 3.4 percent from $37,243 in 2008. Median income listed on county joint returns for 2009 was $65,390, down 5 percent from $68,829 in 2008.

Among all California counties, Sacramento ranked 16th in single-return income in 2009, up from 18th in 2008. For joint-return income, the county ranked 18th both years.

Tax board spokesman Daniel Tahara said the 2008-vs.-2009 numbers reflected the recession’s impact on Golden State households.

Even the comparatively well-to-do saw income dwindle. Marin County had the highest median income for joint returns in 2009 at $108,465, but that was a decrease of 8.6 percent from 2008.

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