The CATO Institute has once again named Florida as the most economically free state in the nation. For the past few years, Florida has ranked first in the CATO’s Freedom in the 50 States assessment of economic and personal freedom. This ranking is determined by economic freedom. Individuals in Florida are not subject to a state income tax, according to CATO’s ranking analysis.
“Florida’s state-level tax collections are more than 1.5 standard deviations below the national average, whereas its local tax collections are a little lower than average,” the organization noted. “Florida’s fiscal decentralization does not offer a great deal of choice to homeowners, however, because the state has only about half an effective competing jurisdiction per 100 square miles. Government consumption and debt are lower than average.”
In terms of fiscal policy, which considers factors like taxation, employment in the public sector, spending, debt, and fiscal decentralization, Florida likewise took the top rank. Florida was ranked second in the overall freedom rankings, which combine economic and personal liberties. New Hampshire took the top rank in terms of overall freedom.
Despite the pandemic, increasing inflation, and skyrocketing gas prices, Florida has maintained its high rankings. The state’s unemployment rate, which was 0.8 percent lower than the national average in July, had fallen to 2.7 percent, the lowest level since February 2020, according to The Epoch Times.
The new standing comes after Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis recently issued a warning on the IRS’s employment of 87,000 new agents following the Democrat-passed Inflation Reduction Act, which he alleges would be used to target middle-class Americans.
“They’re gonna go after a sole proprietor. They’re gonna go after some handyman. They’re gonna go after somebody driving an Uber or somebody owning a family restaurant. That’s who they’re gonna go after,” he said recently.
In 2021, Florida also ranked first in the number of recently established small enterprises, a key factor in the state’s economic performance. Florida received 632,105 company applications in 2021, up 27% from the prior year, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This exceeds California’s 518,001 applications and more than twice as many as New York’s 309,170 applications.
New York and California imposed lockdowns and restrictive laws, while Florida largely avoided them. Florida is an example of a red state that has been doing economically better than a blue state. According to a Moody’s Analytics report, Republicans control most of the states that did well economically during the outbreak. In contrast, Democrats controlled eight out of the ten states that performed the lowest.