William Ruger and Jason Sorens tell their readers that South Dakota’s secret recipe for success is economic freedom and that more states should take notice.
South Dakota has quietly established itself as arguably the most successful state in the Greater Midwest. In a comprehensive Cato Institute study that we co‐authored, we reveal exactly why: freedom, especially economic freedom.
South Dakota has a very low combined state and local tax burden (7.4 percent of income), and, of course, no state income tax. In most years, local governments collect more tax revenue than state government does. That makes it easier for citizens to choose a city or county that provides the right mix of services relative to taxes.
Not only are taxes low, but the state government has also been fiscally responsible, with cash on hand well exceeding total debt. South Dakota is one of a handful of states with AAA sovereign bond ratings from every ratings agency. […]
Back in 2007 to 2010, South Dakota was number one in freedom. The fall to number three today is a result of other states’ pulling ahead rather than policies’ getting worse in South Dakota. Still, policymakers in South Dakota need to be vigilant about staying ahead of the pack.
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