Number of wealthy Californians decline

February 15, 2012 7:04:59 PM PST
The recession caused a big rise in unemployment and it also caused a huge drop in the number of wealthy Californians. The Franchise Tax Board released new figures showing the number of high-income Californians fell by one third.

Before the recession hit, there were about 147,000 taxpayers earning more than a $500,000 a year. That number dropped to 98,000 within two years in the depth of the recession. Taxpayer groups say this is not a good time to hit up the wealthy for more taxes. However, state finance officials say the rich are rebounding once again.

"That was a snapshot that was taken at a point in time when the economy was in free fall and the stock market was diving. Things are different now," said H.D. Palmer from the California Department of Finance.

Finance officials said Facebook's recent IPO is expected to add a lot of Californians to that wealthy column.