New Castle News

Closer Look

March 8, 2014

John K. Manna: State says some local people have high incomes

NEW CASTLE — A lot of people fantasize about becoming instant millionaires.

That’s why millions of Americans play the lottery, particularly when the jackpots for Powerball and Mega Millions exceed $100 million.

But did you ever wonder whether there are some people right here in Lawrence County who don’t have to fantasize and are living the dream without even having to play the lottery?

Even if you haven’t, I’m going to tell you.

In 2011, there were 41 Lawrence County residents who had taxable incomes of $1 million or greater, according to the state Department of Revenue.

For all of Pennsylvania, there were more than 12,400 tax returns filed reporting taxable incomes of $1 million or more.

In the previous year, 33 Lawrence County residents had taxable incomes of $1 million or more. The county wasn’t alone as most counties in Pennsylvania showed an increase over 2010. So 2011 must have been a good year for making money

The 41 county residents in 2011 reported a total taxable income of $87,701,581. That figured out to an average of $2,139,063, so you can speculate that there were some individuals whose taxable incomes may have been as high as $5 million or even more.

Consider the fact that this is taxable income and does not take into account the number of people in the county who may have assets of $1 million or more.

Lawrence County, however, pales in comparison to some other counties.

The leader? Montgomery County, which had 2,104 returns of $1 million or more. Allegheny County was second with 1,530, followed by Chester County with 1,275.

Philadelphia had only 534, which was well below all of its suburban counties.

Even though Lawrence County has fewer residents than its neighboring counties, it actually did better in some respects. Beaver County had 50 returns of $1 million or more in taxable income. Its average income, however, was less than Lawrence County’s.

Mercer County had 47 such returns representing a total income of $78 million.

Butler County, the one area county that has experienced significant growth in recent years, had 156 such returns. Incomes for those millionaires exceeded $412 million.

If you’re not one of those millionaires, fear not. You’re in good company. Lawrence County had 40,287 returns of taxable incomes of less than $1 million in 2011.

Even though the average income was only $39,620, their income totaled nearly $1.6 billion.

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