Ohio's millionaire group, earnings shrink in 2 years

Ohio's millionaire group is shrinking from the recession and stock market crash. / WNWO archive

Can the 99 percent protesting Wall Street breathe easier now that the 1 percent is shrinking? According to the Dayton Daily News, the number of Ohio millionaires decreased by 43 percent in only two years.

The paper reports in 2007, Ohio had more than 7,800 taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $1 million or more. Fast forward to 2009 and that number had fallen to around 4,500.

Also, Ohio millionaires' adjusted gross income, which totaled $103 billion in 2007, fell to $50 billion in 2009.

"The fluidity of the $1 million and above crowd is very high " meaning that those in it don TMt stay in it very long and get replaced by someone new, said Matt Mayer, president of the Buckeye Institute, to the Dayton Daily News. "As the economic pain spread, those in it fell out and those who would naturally replace them became fewer."

Economists attribute the recession and stock market crash to the decline, saying a majority of millionaires relied on income from sales from stocks, real estate and bonds.

Gary Gudmundson, a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Taxation, said the state's decreasing millionaire pool aligns with the national average.

"There actually was a 43 percent decline of millionaires in Ohio, and nationally, the decline was 40 percent, so we are just mirroring the country," said Gary Gudmundson, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Taxation.

Tax data is only available up to 2009, so it is difficult to predict what numbers from the past two years say about millionaire households in Ohio.

But Amy Hanauer of Policy Matters Ohio says the state's tax data reveals even more disheartening news about the number of low income households: Half of all tax returns filed in Ohio reported incomes of $35,000 or less.

"We should be concerned in Ohio about this vast majority of people who are in fact trying to get by on $20,000-$50,000 a year, because two-thirds of Ohio tax filings earn less than $50,000 a year," she said. "What is policy doing for those families?"

Are there too many policies that focus on serving the highest income earners in Ohio, or are they not doing much for anyone? Leave your comment with us below and on our Facebook page.

Read more: Dayton Daily News