The Brookings Institute has compiled an interactive map showing county-by-county capital gains across the U.S. These are profits from sales of assets that are taxed at a lower rate than earned income.
A friend notes that Pulaski County, Ark., ranked 51st among the nation’s 3,124 counties, with average capital gains of $53,505. Yet, the county ranks 1,516th in the percentage of taxpayers reporting capital gains, at 13.5 percent. This is based on 2012 IRS data.
In other words, a few people in Pulaski County scored some very big capital gains. The IRS doesn’t disclose the specific information, of course. Just speculating, but a big skyscraper up the street houses an investment firm, Stephens Inc., that has scored some big gains over the years. Benton County, home of Walmart and not a few millionaires, ranked 529th in average capital gains in 2012.
Union County, home to some oil and timber fortunes, finished ranked 60th in average capital gains.