A recent economic report released by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows that Jackson, Wyoming is the most economically unequal city in the USA – by an enormous margin. If fact, Jackson is the most economically unequal city in the USA by 140 fold (see “top-to-bottom ratio in list below).
Both Teton County, ID and Teton County, WY have the top 1% earners bringing in 68.3% of the income with the bottom 90% taking in only 17.3% of the income. Ouch…
The average income of the top 1% of Jackson is $20 million/year while the other 99% of Jackson is taking home an average income of $94,000/year. The wealthiest 1% in Jackson are making 213-times more money then the other 99% of the population.
Why is it this way? Because the uber weather live in Jackson, Wyoming. Why do they live there? Because Wyoming is a tax haven for the rich and for corporations. And not just the rich of the USA, for the rich of the world. There are no corporate taxes collected in Wyoming and their are no individual income taxes collected.
Wyoming was recently ranked the tax friendliest state in the USA by USA Today.
• Taxes collected per capita: $4,347 (3rd highest)
• Unemployment: 4.9% (5th lowest)
• Corporate taxes collected per capita: none (the lowest)
• Sales tax rate: 4.0% (tied-13th lowest)
Wyoming is the highest-rated state in the nation for business tax policy. Like other states with strong business tax climates, it benefits from the absence of any individual income tax. Like Nevada and South Dakota, which ranked just behind Wyoming for the quality of their business tax climate, Wyoming has neither corporate income tax nor gross receipts tax. But while other states that did not tax income choose instead to tax sales heavily, Wyoming does not. As of January, its state sales tax rate was just 4%, one of the lowest of any state with such a tax. Including the average local sales tax, consumers paid an effective sales tax rate of just 5.3% on purchases, among the lowest in the nation.” – USA Today, March 2013
Does all this make it hard to ski bum in Jackson Hole, WY? Yes. Yes it does. We have many friends who have been priced out of Jackson Hole and had to move to other more affordable ski towns like Salt Lake City, UT.