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Teton County has highest concentration of wealth per household than any other county in the nation

Looking down at a mountain town from a ski lift
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According to 2019 IRS returns, Teton County has the highest concentration of wealth per household than any other county in the nation. The adjusted gross income (AGI) is the amount of money a household makes before taxes or charitable deductions. Teton County's adjusted gross income (AGI) for 2019 was $312,442. As a comparison, New York County, which has the second-highest AGI, has $212,34.

Jonathan Schechter, the executive director at the Charture Institute, an economics think tank based in Jackson, said this news has ripple effects in a range of areas such as housing prices.

"People who have a lot of money can afford to pay more for housing. And that makes it increasingly difficult for workforce housing to make it here," said Schechter. "Because people with a lot more money can out-compete people who have less money."

Schechter said it's important to note that this is the adjusted gross income which means a handful of high earners impact the numbers. More specifically, only 18 percent of the population reported over $200,000 per household.

Schechter said the same thing is happening to a lesser extent in other desirable Wyoming communities like Cody.

"People who have a lot of investment, income and wealth to protect. They're being attracted to Wyoming because of our absence of income tax and our very, very favorable trust laws," he said.

According to Schechter, Teton County is ahead of the curve. Because of Wyoming's tax structure, the state doesn't have any way to benefit from this wealth outside of charitable donations.

Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
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