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Conservative Think Tank Lists New York As Nation’s Least Free State

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New York's high taxes and strict regulations rank it dead last on a think tank's list of economically free states. (Getty Images)

New York’s high taxes and strict regulations rank it dead last on a think tank’s list of economically free states. (Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBS DC) – New York is the worst state to live, if you’re a corporation looking to make more money.

The Mercatus Center, a conservative think tank financed by Koch Industries and based at Virginia’s George Mason University, ranked the states from first to worst on economic factors like regulations on businesses, land use restrictions, gun control laws and taxes.

The more any state had of those, the worse it did in the Mercatus Center analysis. And New York was the worst, coming in at #50 out of the 50 states.

The organization cited New York’s rent control as one of the most onerous burdens on landowners and businesses, saying it cost the economy “about $300 million in deadweight loss alone.”

It also called the use of eminent there domain “rampant.”

The group said the state’s strict gun control measures deprived its residents of personal freedoms, as did high taxes on cigarettes.

The Mercatus Center said New York has the highest tax rate of any state in the union and says it is also the most indebted state.

In order to move up the freedom list, the center recommends the state cut taxes to pay down debt, reduce the cigarette tax  and “cut spending on police and fire protection, hospitals, housing and community development, libraries, public welfare, sanitation and sewerage, miscellaneous commercial activities, public transit, and employee retirement. Reduce all taxes, and pay down debt.”

Similar regulations and taxes put New Jersey and California at numbers 48 and 49, respectively.

West Virgnia, where an under-regulated chemical tank recently poisoned the water supply of its capital city, was ranked 42nd freest state.

North Dakota was named the nation’s freest states because of its low taxes and government debt, its liberal land use rules and it’s lack of regulations on businesses.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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