FILE - South Carolina state Capitol

The South Carolina State House in Columbia, South Carolina.

(The Center Square) – South Carolina ranked 28th in the country in the CATO Institute’s recent 2021 Freedom in the States rankings.

The rankings use 230 policy variables to rank states on how their policies promote freedom in fiscal, regulatory and personal realms. The CATO Institute is a public policy think tank based on libertarian ideals to provide information to promote limited government, free markets and peace.

South Carolina ranked 33rd in fiscal policy freedom, 35th in personal policy freedom and 24th in economic policy freedom.

“As one of the states more dependent on the federal government, the Palmetto State gets by with high government employment and consumption and a relatively low tax burden,” the report said. “Local taxes are average, but state taxes – at a projected 4.6% of adjusted personal income in FY 2020 – are below the 5.7% national average for 2000–2019.”

CATO believes that South Carolina’s regulatory policy has improved over time due to tort reform in 2005 and 2011.

The fiscal policies that CATO suggests the state look into its health and human services spending in hopes of finding savings.

 “Hospital spending as a share of income is nearly three times the national average, and public employment is also abnormally high," the report said. "These problems could be solved by privatization and cuts. Cut the sales tax.”

You can read the South Carolina report here.

Staff Reporter

Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies.