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Moose shooter pleads guilty

Allen Best

PARK CITY, Utah A man who shot a moose outside his home with a .357-caliber handgun one night this winter has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor crime of poaching and attempted criminal mischief, reports The Park Record.

A stray bullet from the gun fired by Victor Armendariz lodged in a wall of a home across the street, adjacent to a bedroom. Armendariz will have to pay $10,000 restitution to state wildlife authorities and $970 to his neighbor.

He could have to pay an additional $2,500 fine. The neighbor told sheriff’s investigators that Armendariz threatened him after killing the moose, allegedly saying “If you want to be safe in the neighborhood, you had better be careful what you tell the police.”

Lack of income tax attracts wealthy

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. For the fourth time in six years, the Internal Revenue Service has reported Teton County as the nation’s wealthiest, based on income tax returns filed in 2002. The mean adjusted gross income of $107,694 is 2 percent higher than that of Fairfield County, Conn.

In another statistical category, Teton County ranked first in per-capita income, the sixth time since 1995. Pitkin County, which is where Aspen is located, had led the previous year, but income levels there dropped nearly 30 percent between 2001 and 2002.

What’s going on with all this wealth? Everybody knows, as the Jackson Hole News & Guide noted, that jobs in ski and resort towns don’t pay well.

Well, Jackson Hole has lots of amenities, beginning with Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, a ski resort, a great flyfishing river, and so on. But most important is that Wyoming does not levy an income tax, explains Bob Graham, president of Real Estate of Jackson Hole. That causes lots of people who could claim residence elsewhere to make Jackson Hole their primary residence.

“You could go to places like Vail or Aspen or Telluride or Big Sky, but you would not have the tax advantage you would achieve in the state of Wyoming,” he said.

Also keeping Jackson Hole’s rates up are the fact that it’s not near a large city. That eliminates a lot of weekend second homes. And then people of money tend to cluster once they have found an interesting place with services, an airport, and technology that allows them to stay connected to the rest of the world.

Other counties on the top 10 list, include a suburb of San Francisco and two Denver suburbs. The rest are all located near New York City.


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