Study: New Yorkers Enjoy Less Freedom Than Residents In Any Other State In U.S.

Conservative Think Tank Goes After Empire State's Taxes, Business Regulation

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — New York may be first in taxes, but a survey has ranked it dead last in one important characteristic: freedom.

That’s the verdict from one conservative think tank, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported.

Young visited the Byram River on Friday. It is one of the many borders that separate New York and Connecticut. A new study says the New York side of that river is part of the least free place in America; seriously.

“I think it depends on what criteria you’re using, you know? You talking about taxes? You talking about civil rights?” Ridgefield, Conn., resident Jane Davila said.

The study in question is talking mostly about taxes and business regulation. The libertarian think tank at George Mason University in Virginia says New York is dead last in freedom. Most people seem to think that’s a stretch, but many said they see the point.

“I think there is a grain of truth to it. We’re not living in a police state. We happen to live in a very safe state. But the economics of New York clearly don’t work and then you see things like Mike Bloomberg and his Big Gulp sodas and we’re going to tell you what kind of cups you can use and what kind of bags you can use, that kind of day-to-day almost silly trivial “nanny”-type regulation; you can laugh about it but it starts to add up after a while,” White Plains attorney John Murtagh said.

And New York businesses can sometimes have to navigate oceans of red tape — like the sudden need to renew a state sales tax license after 27 years in business. One merchant, though, said he’ll live with it.

“It’s a small pinprick, not enough to make me feel I’m not free in the great state of New York,” Donald Roloff said.


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