New Hampshire ranked No. 1 in the Toronto-based, libertarian Fraser Institute’s study issued Tuesday.
“The link between economic freedom and prosperity is clear — states that support low taxation, limited government and flexible labor markets see greater economic growth, while states with lower levels of economic freedom see lower living standards and less economic opportunity,” said Fred McMahon, co-author of the study.
The Empire State ranked 49th in taxes, 48th in government spending and 45th in labor regulations for fiscal year 2013, the most recent data studied.
The analysis includes local as well state taxation on property, income, sales and businesses.
New York was penalized in the report for imposing higher tax rates on upper-income earners, as well as high property taxes.
“Marginal income-tax rates represent the direct penalty on economic activity,” the study said. “As the tax burden grows, the restrictions on private choice increase and thus economic freedom declines.”
Gov. Cuomo, who is phasing in some business- and estate-tax cuts, sought to discredit the report.
“This is from an institute that does not believe cigarette smoke causes cancer. Enough said,” said Cuomo spokesman John Kelly, referring to a decades-old controversy.
Chief researcher McMahon said Cuomo was trying to change the subject.
“I wonder if the governor would take responsibility for everything the Democratic Party said 20 years ago and would disavow everything the party says now if he found one piece of policy from one researcher he disagreed with in the early 1990s,” McMahon said.
A separate study released Monday by the Tax Foundation ranked the state 49th — ahead only of New Jersey — for its “business climate.”
# # #