Weekly The Generation, Year: 1, Issue: 12
New York once again has the dubious distinction of being labeled “the least free state” in America, according to a report issued by libertarian-leaning think tank The Cato Institute. The Empire State ranked dead last — 50th — for policies impacting economic, social and personal freedoms in 2022, the report claims. By comparison, Florida ranked 2nd after New Hampshire as the most free state in the union. Cato said New York is a fiscal basket case.
The state ranked 50th for economic freedom and scored at or near the bottom for debt and state and local taxation, government consumption, land use and labor policy. See page 15 to cul. 1
“New York’s terrible economic freedom score is going to continue to drag the state down—and harm its ability to realize its full economic potential,” the Cato report authored by William Ruger and Jason Sorens said.
“Combined, state and local taxes are crushing. Debt is down from years past but is still the highest in the country at 26.1 percent of income.” Wealthy residents in New York City pay among the highest combined state and local income taxes in the country — nearly 15% at the top level — and property taxes in the suburbs are also high.
“It is little wonder that New Yorkers are fleeing the state in droves. New Yorkers have been voting with their feet for years, leaving a state with such a glorious past and a great magnet supercity in part because of its stifling policies that restrict freedom and opportunity. New York outpaced all other states by far in terms of net out-migration to other states,” co-author Ruger told The Post.
“One of the worst problems for New York state as a whole is how New York City and Albany drive policy for the rest of the state,” he continued. “This allows left-wing ideologies and powerful concentrated interests to combine to run the state for their benefit while regular New Yorkers suffer. We especially see this in the regulatory area with policies like rent-control, eminent domain, renewable portfolio standards, minimum wage laws, and certificate of need laws.”
Florida, by comparison, ranks high because it does not impose an income tax on its residents. New York has ranked last in every Cato study since it started reviewing data in 2000. The state gets higher marks from live-and-let-live Cato for its lower incarceration rates and for legalizing marijuana. New York ranked 9th for its criminal justice policies — the state’s highest score in any category.
It ranked 49th for tobacco freedom for its public smoking bans and high cigarette taxes — $6.85 per pack, second only to $7.16 per pack in Illinois. Neighboring New Jersey fared little better, ranking 47th. California ranked 48th and Hawaii, 49th. Cato recommends New York policymakers slash spending and taxes, pay down debt and abolish rent control laws. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office had no immediate comment.
Source: New York Post