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Report: Florida Is 23rd Most Free State In U.S.

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FLORIDA (CBSMiami) – When it comes to freedom, Florida isn’t exactly dragging a ball-and-chain, but it’s not soaring high either.

The third annual “Freedom in the 50 States” report ranked Florida as the 23rd most-free state in 2013, reports the South Florida Business Journal.

The publishers of the report at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center create the rankings by combining scores for fiscal, regulatory and personal freedom, the Orlando Business Journal reportsClick here for more details on the calculations.

“Florida is a moderately fiscally conservative state that has gone a long way to attract business, but it lacks respect for many civil liberties,” the report said.

The report also noted, “Florida ranks well above average on most fiscal policies; however, while the index shows its tax burden declining slightly between fiscal year 2008 and fiscal year 2010, it also shows its debt burden rising to 21.3 percent of personal income. Property and general sales taxes are higher than average, although there is no individual income tax.”

As far as the low score on civil liberties, the report noted that the state’s gun control laws are about average nationally but below average for the South. In addition, marijuana laws are generally restrictive and police can take DNA from anyone arrested for a felony.

Click here to see the full report on Florida.

Click here to see how all the states ranked.

(TM and © 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and © 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The South Florida Business Journal contributed to this report.)

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