Think you know which state is the freest state in the nation? Some people are actually surprised that the freest state in the nation is actually Florida, according to a recent Cato Institute study. The study ranked each U.S. state by “how its public policies promote freedom in the fiscal, regulatory, and personal freedom spheres.”
Florida actually earned seven top-10 rankings for promoting freedom. Plus, our state earned four number one rankings. The four number one rankings we took in the study by Cato Institute were in the following categories: Overall, Fiscal, Economic and Cable. This was published in the most recent edition of “Freedom in the 50 States” which was produced by the Washington-based institute.
Co-author of the study William P. Ruger wrote:
“Floridians should be proud of their No. 1 ranking. Florida’s leaders have largely avoided restrictive policies that have harmed economic growth in other states while making opportunity-enhancing reforms that have benefited current residents and the hundreds flocking to the state each day.”
There were 25 categories that varied from regulatory policies to victimless crime enforcement to taxation. It also looked at property insurance affordability too. According to the authors, the Sunshine State has made “tremendous strides protecting liberty, limiting government intrusion into the lives of Floridians, and promoting economic prosperity. They say this is why over $156 billion in annual income has moved into Florida from higher tax states like New York.
The fiscal policy category is where Florida especially soars, but our state ranked in the top 25 in 17 categories and in the top 20 in 14 categories as well.
Things it examined were government employment, spending, debt and fiscal decentralization and taxes. Of taxes, the authors said the following:
“Florida’s state-level tax collections are more than a standard deviation and a half below the national average, while its local tax collections are about average.”
The state scored second in educational freedom, but noted that homeschool regulations are still substantial.
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