Tax Returns Show Teton County Has Highest Average Income In Nation

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

The average income for Teton County residents has increased more than eight-fold in the last 30 years, growing to become the largest average income of any county in the nation, according to an analysis of tax returns.

Jonathan Schechter, an economic analyst in Jackson, said his analysis showed the average adjusted gross income for Teton County residents in 2019 was $312,442, marking the first time any county in the nation recorded an AGI of more than $300,000. Schechter, who also serves as a Jackson Town Council member, predicted more growth in the future.

“These are insane numbers,” Schechter wrote in the newsletter issued by his company CoThrive. “Yet what’s really nuts is that these figures are from 2019; i.e., the year before COVID-19 migrants started flocking to Jackson Hole. As a result, 2020’s numbers should be much higher, and 2021’s numbers nuttier still.”

According to Schechter’s analysis, between 1989 and 2019, the average income listed in tax returns from Teton County grew from $38,339 to $312,442.

That put Teton County well ahead of New York County, New York, which was in second place for average income at $212,534.

The county’s AGI was also more than four times as high as the national average AGI of $75,694.Most of the income, 75%, was generated by investments rather than wages, Schechter said.

“In 2019, Teton County’s mean per-return non-wage income alone was $235,186, 11% higher than New York’s total income figure,” he wrote.

The increase in the AGI has been accompanied by an increase in charitable contributions, Schechter said, which grew by 72% between 2015 and 2019 to average $33,710.

“Overall, in 2019 Teton County residents claimed 10.8% of their total AGI as charitable contribution,” he wrote. “This, too, led the nation, the first time we’d done so.”

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