LACONIA — Federal income tax data indicates that the sluggish economy and aging population took a heavy toll on the city between 2000 and 2011, the most recent year the information is readily available.
At the turn of the century, average adjusted gross income (AGI), adjusted for inflation, of tax returns filed in the 03246 zip code was $44,968. By 2011, AGI had shrunk by 18.5-percent to $36,661. During the same period the number of income tax returns filed dropped from 8,680 to 7,879, a decrease of almost 10 percent. The number of business returns filed dropped by nearly 100, from 1,143 to 1,046, a decline of 8.5-percent.
Reflecting the downward pressures on incomes, the numbers of those filing returns for earned income tax credits, a refundable tax credit for individuals and couples with low to moderate earnings — especially those with children, rose by almost half, from 1,000 in 2000 to 1,453 in 2011, a jump of 45-percent.
The age of primary taxpayers mirrored the aging demographic of the city. In 2000, 2,367 returns were filed by taxpayers younger than 30, but by 2011, their numbers had fallen by 21-percent to 1,861. Likewise, the number of returns filed by taxpayers aged between 30 and 44 declined by 25-percent , from 2,291 to 1,715. The number of returns filed by taxpayers aged between 45 and 60 remained stable at around 2,170, but returns filed by taxpayers aged 60 or more climbed nearly 15-percent, from 1,852 to 2,126.
(The raw numbers referred to in this article are provided to the public by the website melissadata.com.)