It’s no secret that there’s a housing and income issue facing the town of Jackson (and almost every other ski town for that matter). In an article published by CNBC yesterday, the Jackson Hole Metropolitan area was named “The most Unequal Income area in the United States” by Kathleen Elkins of CNBC.
The Most Unequal Metro in the US happens to be Jackson, WY-ID, which spans Wyoming and Idaho. There, the 1 percent earn an astonishing 132 times more than everyone else.
The article goes on to say,
Jackson may seem like an unusual place to hold so much wealth, but it is home to the luxurious Jackson Hole Ski Resort and includes Teton County, which is by far the most unequal county in the US.
It does not, however, mention the real reason why Jackson has a larger income disparity than Aspen, (Pitken County – #6) Telluride, (San Miguel County – #8) or Park City (Summit Park- #11) Wyoming is a known tax haven. The lack of state income tax in the state of Wyoming attracts wealthy individuals to the area. That’s why Teton county has an average income for the 1% of $22m, while Pitkin comes in at a lowly $6.6m.
The disparity between that top 1% and the rest of us will continue to grow in these areas unless we start to make some changes. Whether or not the local government wants to tax on the rich a little more? We’ll have to see or vote…
Before any that happens, the ski industry needs to pay better wages to its low income earners now, especially considering the price of housing.
- Jackson Hole Estimated Household Income: $71,398
- Jackson Hole Estimated Average Home Value: $600,937
While the richest 1% has the most money in the town of Jackson, Telluride, or Aspen, the voting population consists of ski bums. The world is so caught up in national politics these days, that we forget we as ski bums can make a difference right in our own back yard– just by showing up to vote– maybe for an small state income tax that funds the construction of affordable housing…
Find the entire CNBC article here: This is the most unequal place in America in terms of income—and it’s not in New York or California